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Springboard: Footfall Subdued In Week Following Black Friday

Shoppers in street

Springboard has published retail footfall data for week 48 (last week), advising that the Omicron variant is revealing the first signs of hesitancy amongst office workers in Central London and cities elsewhere. 

To ensure its insights are as relevant as possible, Springboard has introduced a year-on-year 2021 vs 2019 comparison for footfall.

Springboard Index - Week 48 2021

2021 vs 2020 = +43%

2021 vs 2019 = -17.4%

Week-on-week = +0.7%

Springboard's Marketing and Insights Director, Diane Wehrle, said: 

"Footfall in UK retail destinations last week was inevitably more subdued last week than the previous week which had included Black Friday.  Footfall rose marginally, and it was wholly driven by uplifts in activity in retail parks and shopping centres whilst there was a modest decline in high streets. The strong comparison of Black Friday in the week before meant the drop in footfall on Friday was significant enough to halve the uplift in footfall over the seven day period.

Last week also provided the first evidence of an early impact on footfall of the Omicron variant;  Springboard's Central London Back to the Office benchmark (comprising only those areas in close proximity to offices) declined last week from the week before, whilst footfall across Central London as a whole - which is clearly being supported by the Christmas trading period – increased, rising by even more in those areas with a predominance of retail stores.

The picture is not as positive in large city centres outside of the capital where footfall dropped by nearly double the rate of decline in the Back to the Office Benchmark. This points to the fact that whilst Central London is being supported by its retail and leisure offer in the run up to Christmas, large city centres outside of the capital are not benefiting, substantiated by a rise in footfall in smaller market towns across the UK as shoppers stayed local rather than venturing further afield.

Despite this, on Saturday - the first Saturday in December which for many shoppers is the kick off of the Christmas shopping period - was far stronger than on any other day last week, particularly in high streets and shopping centres where footfall rose noticeably from the week before."

Source : Springboard

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09 December 2021

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