Weekend footfall jumps as sunshine brings people out

Footfall in high streets and shopping destinations jumped last weekend as warmer weather brought more people out of their homes, according to new data.

Figures from retail experts Springboard showed that footfall rose 9.5% on Saturday April 4 and 21.3% on Sunday April 5, against the same days a week earlier.

It reported a particular spike in footfall in central London, where footfall jumped 51.4% on Sunday.

Other large cities and coastal towns also saw a jump in footfall over the weekend, with coastal locations reporting a 29.6% rise in footfall on Sunday.

Nevertheless, the figures reflected a significant decline against the same weekend last year, due to the Government’s social distancing instructions.

Springboard said the data is taken from markers by high streets, retail parks and shopping centres.

It said the figures do not show what people were doing on their excursions and simply record the number of people walking through these areas.

Footfall for last week (week starting March 29) dived 81.4% against the same period last year, while it was also 31.6% lower than the previous week.

High street locations saw a particularly steep drop-off, with footfall dropping 84.4% against last year, while retail parks, which often have large supermarkets, saw a 71.5% decline.

With the closure of all but essential stores, Springboard said the Easter bank holiday weekend, which is often an important period for retailers, will be “unrecognisable”.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “It is impossible to draw any real comparison between Easter this year and Easter in preceding years – we have never been beset with such swathing restrictions that have impacted the entire economy and restricted spending so comprehensively.”

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