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UK retail sees shopper numbers increase after ‘significant acceleration in activity’

Shopper numbers across the UK are on the increase, according to the latest research from Springboard this week, who has cited a 4.1 per cent rise in numbers across all retail destinations. In London and the south East, the increase has hit a near 7 per cent, marking a ‘significant acceleration in activity.’

Springboard said the UK-wide number compared to a 0.8 per cent increase the previous week and a 1.8 per cent rise in the same week last year. Despite the improvement, however, footfall was still 30.7 per cent lower than in the same week last year, but an improvement from an annual drop of 32.5 per cent in the week before.

A news report from Reuters suggests that Central London shopper numbers remain 61.2 per cent lower than last year, while in regional cities it is 49.8 per cent lower. Meanwhile, shopper numbers in smaller, local high streets or holiday towns have ‘recovered to a far greater extent.’
According to Springboard, in Outer London the drop in footfall from last year is now 29.5 per cent, in coastal towns it is down 28.7 per cent, in historic towns it is -34.1 per cent and in market towns it is down 28.3 per cent.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said the incremental recovery offered “a glimmer of hope for retailers”.

She said it also seemed that increased quarantine measures on a number of overseas holiday destinations had also lifted UK footfall. Shopping centres had been the clear winner with a week on week increase of 7.1 per cent versus 3.2 per cent in high streets and 2.7 per cent in retail parks.

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