Shopper numbers across Britain rose 0.9 per cent in the week to July 17 compared with the previous week, boosted by the return of sunny weather, researcher Springboard said on Monday.
It said the overall increase in shopper numbers, or footfall, was driven by a 3.3 per cent rise in high street shopper traffic, which more than offset declines of 0.8 per cent and 2.2 per cent in retail parks and shopping centres respectively.
“There was a glimmer of hope for the hospitality industry, as the most gains in footfall were made post 5 p.m. as shoppers took the opportunity provided by hot weather to enjoy hospitality venues,” said Diane Wehrle, Springboard’s insights director.
High street footfall post 5 p.m. rose by 9.8 per cent from the week before compared with 1.9 per cent up to 5 p.m.
Springboard said overall UK footfall was down 24.9 per cent compared with the same week in 2019, before the pandemic started to disrupt traffic.
The pandemic has hammered Britain’s retailers, already struggling with high rents and business taxes, tight margins and online competition. Hundreds of store closures and thousands of job losses have been announced.
Springboard forecast that shopper numbers will rise by nearly one fifth this week versus the previous week thanks to the lifting of most remaining COVID-19 restrictions in England on Monday.