Footfall drops again in April

Footfall in UK retail destinations dipped once again in April 2022, falling to -15.9%, down from a decline of -15.3% in March 2022, according to the latest figures from Springboard.

It said that the month was “salvaged” by Easter in the second week, when footfall rose by +9.1% from the week before, compared with a week-on-week drop across the remaining three weeks that averaged -1.1%.

Despite the absence of any noticeable boost in footfall in April, Springboard’s town centre sales tracker identified that sales in physical stores in April remained positive, with increases from 2019 across a number of key retail categories; department stores (+9.7%),
food and beverage (+5.9%), fashion (+3.7%), health and beauty (+2.5%) and jewellery (+16.7%).

Diane Wehrle, insights director, said: “It seems that whilst consumer activity in stores and destinations is not bouncing back to the pre- pandemic level, those consumers who remain insulated from increasing cost of living pressures are still spending, undoubtedly supported by the fact that many will have not had the opportunity to shop in store since the start of the pandemic and have additional savings available to them.

“The issue for retail is whether the result for April is a precursor to a contraction in retail consumer activity over the forthcoming months, as strong inflationary pressures start to hit household budgets that are forecast to become of far greater significance as we move through 2022.”

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