The variety of guests to the UK is quadrupling, aided by the rise in London


Visitor numbers to all retail destinations across the UK rose 4.1 percent last week from the previous week. This corresponds to a “significant acceleration” compared to the previous week of 0.8 percent and an increase of 1.8 percent compared to the previous week.

The latest data from retail professionals Springboard shows that the overall bottom line in the UK was driven by a 6.8 percent increase in visitor numbers in the Greater London area and 7.1 percent in the South East. This was a reversal from the previous week when visitor numbers in these two regions fell and a far stronger performance than the same week last year when visitor numbers rose just 1.6 percent in Greater London and 2.2 percent in the South East.

The accelerated growth in these two regions resulted in far greater visitor traffic than elsewhere, meaning the week ended August 22nd with 30.7 percent fewer visitors than the same week last year. This is a “noticeable improvement,” said Springboard due to an annual decline of 32.5 percent the week before.

The “accelerated growth” in London and the South East is helping to drive footfall in retail

All three destination types benefited from an increase in visitor numbers: shopping centers recorded a 7.1 percent increase compared to the previous week, while the main streets increased by 3.2 percent and the retail parks increased by 2.7 percent.

Retail parks continue to lead the way in recovery, Springboard added. Thanks to large grocery stores, free parking lots, and larger stores, footfall in retail parks is only 10.6 percent lower than in 2019, compared to shopping malls, which have 32.4 percent lower visitor numbers on Main Streets, which are 39.1 percent lower .

The main streets as a whole have been “adversely affected” by the lack of pedestrians returning to central London and other regional cities, as these locations generate the greatest amount of pedestrian flows of any type of main street in the UK.

Smaller local main roads recover faster than regional cities

While London has shown positive signs of growth, visitor frequency in central London is 61.2 percent lower than last year and regional cities are 49.8 percent lower.

In contrast, the number of visitors on smaller, more local main roads or for holidaymakers has recovered much more strongly, as outside London the drop in visitor numbers compared to the previous year has only decreased by 29.5 percent, while it has decreased by 28.7 percent in coastal cities Percent, in historic cities by 34.1 percent and in market towns by 28.3 percent.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said in a statement, “It appears that the increased quarantine measures imposed last week on a number of overseas destinations are having a positive impact on visitor footfall in the UK.

“Not only has the number of visitors to UK retail destinations increased from week to week over the past week, but the increase has been more than four times the week before and two and a half times the same week last year.

“The result is another gradual rebound in visitor numbers compared to 2019 and the sixteenth straight week that the annual decline has narrowed, giving retailers a glimmer of hope.”

Springboard has the UK’s most comprehensive pedestrian record, using the latest generation of automated technology, recording over 70 million pedestrian counts per week at 4,500 metering points on 480 different shopping sites in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Image: FashionUnited