Staycations help maintain recovery in shopper footfall

According to new figures, visitor numbers to shopping destinations continued to rebound strongly last month as domestic holidays boosted spending.

The latest pedestrian monitor by retail researchers at Springboard showed that pedestrian footfall in August was 18.6% lower than in the same month of 2019.

However, that was a significant improvement from July, which was down 24.2%.

Springboard said it highlighted progress in the rebound in buyer numbers, with the decline falling below 20% for the first time since the pandemic began.

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director, said that “the popularity of staycations and daycations in August” increased footfall, especially on the main streets.

Retail parks were again the most resilient shopping destination, with a visitor frequency of just 2.4% below the pre-pandemic level.

Meanwhile, major streets saw a 23.5% decrease from August 2019, while shopping malls saw a 24% decrease.

Central London reported that visitor frequency was 38% below pre-pandemic levels as it continued to feel the effects of fewer foreign tourists.

However, it was a significant improvement from the 50.4% drop in July as it benefited from UK vacationers visiting the capital.

Ms. Wehrle said: “Despite the lifting of restrictions on foreign travel, it is clear that the British have chosen to stay home for the summer, which has given a welcome boost to the main roads and particularly attractive visitor destinations such as coastal and historic cities.

“In major cities outside the capital, the improvement in pedestrian frequency in August was almost twice as high as in smaller main streets and is thus for the first time at a level comparable to 2019.”

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