The reopening of ‘non essential’ shops on April 12 has helped footfall in central London to jump over 200% on last week, new figures show.
On Monday a number of retailers experienced long queues outside stores in parts of the capital, including Primark and JD Sports, as numerous shoppers entered physical shops for the first time since January.
The 202.4% rise recorded yesterday compared to the same day a week earlier in central London. It is still much lower than pre-pandemic times, down 56% from the figure on Monday April 15 2019. But, it is significantly higher than a year earlier. Office worker numbers and tourists in the West End and City are still weak as travel restrictions remain in place.
Across all UK retail destinations footfall ended up at just 15.9% lower than on the same Monday in 2019.
The data from research group Springboard said that footfall in all UK retail destinations rose yesterday by 155.2% from the same day last week, with growth led by shopping centres, 225.2%.
The company added that the rise in footfall in high streets was slightly lower at 176.1% , which it said was perhaps due to the cold weather that encouraged shoppers into the enclosed environment of malls.
For retail parks the rise was more modest, although still significant at 35.9% above the previous Monday. However, Springboard pointed out that the level of activity in retail parks was higher than in high streets and shopping centres prior to yesterday due to the presence of food stores which have been allowed to stay open during the pandemic.
Footfall in retail parks yesterday was 7.8% higher than on the same Monday in 2019, before the pandemic.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard said: “The first day of retail reopening was an amazingly positive result and one which finally offers retailers with some positive news. The strong uplift highlights that consumer demand is higher than even forecasted and shows that bricks and mortar still holds a key position within the retail sector.”