Brits head back to the high street as hospitality and leisure businesses reopen

Latest data from retail expert Springboard reveals that footfall in in England’s high streets rose by +19.6% on Saturday (July 4) and +28.3% on Sunday (July 5) compared with the weekend before, as Brits celebrated the reopening of the hospitality and leisure industry.

Springboard’s statistics reveal that post-5pm footfall in England rose by more than over the 24-hour period as a whole on both Saturday and Sunday. Over the period from 5pm to midnight, footfall across England rose by +17.8% on Saturday and by +36.5% on Sunday.

In high streets, where the vast majority of pubs, bars and restaurants are located, the increase was even greater at +35.8% on Saturday and +48.9% on Sunday.

In London, footfall rose by even more than across England – by +26% on Saturday and by over +40% on Sunday, increasing by +62.8% from the week before post-5pm on Sunday.

But, Springboard notes: ‘As consumers enjoyed the reopening of hospitality and leisure, it was clear to see that retail trading was less of a priority in England.’ In shopping centres, where there is a limited offering of restaurants and venues with alcohol permits, the rise was +6% on Saturday and +10.7% on Sunday. In retail parks, where the hospitality offering is even more limited (most commonly chain restaurant eateries), footfall declined on both Saturday and Sunday by -7.6% and -3.6% respectively.

In Scotland, footfall rose significantly which was a result of the easing of travel restrictions and the opening of stores with high street frontages; more than doubling from the week before in high streets on Saturday (+102.7%)  and +81.9% higher from the week before on Sunday.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard commented: “Despite positive signs for the hospitality industry on the first weekend of reopening, it’s essential to recognise that footfall remains at around half of the 2019 level, with a decline of -57.7% across all destinations in England on Saturday and -53.4% on Sunday. As the industry takes small steps in reopening post-pandemic, we recognise there is still a long way to go before the industry returns to normality.”

Springboard tracks and forecasts footfall across key retail destination types at national and regional levels, recording over 70 million footfall counts per week at 4,500 counting points across 480 different shopping sites in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is part of the Government High Street Task Force working to revitalise local high streets across the UK.


Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle

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