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UK high street footfall up 4.7% during second week of Olympics

New data has revealed that retail footfall during the Olympics saw an initial drop during the first week of the Games, but was followed by a strengthening in the second week when UK high streets saw a 4.7% increase year-on-year.

Retail footfall monitoring specialist Springboard found that footfall in high streets in Greater London, excluding central London, increased by 5% over the sixteen day Olympic period, which ran from 27 July to 12 August, compared to the same period last year. The UK overall experienced a soft dip of just -0.2%.

UK shopping centres saw a 0.6% footfall increase year-on-year, with centres in the South West and East Midlands reporting the most notable footfall increases of 4.4% and 4% respectively.

Springboard found that consumers flocked back to the capital’s high streets in the final Olympic week as news of easier travel routes and quieter town centres dispelled initial worries about potential visitor congestion and transport problems.

It also found that shopping centres attracted more visitors due to their offering of undercover shops during the wet weather, as well as cheaper car parking compared to city centre high streets and the more available opportunities to hold events during the Olympic period.

Diane Wehrle, head of retail insights at Springboard said: "Although UK retail footfall was down slightly over the whole Olympic period, it is great to see the recovery during the last week of the games. The West End of London reported a significant 10.6% year-on-year footfall increase, during the second week (6 to 12 August inclusive), which provides optimism for footfall ahead of the upcoming Paralympic Games as the feel good factor continues."

Source : The Retail Bulletin

17 August 2012
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