UK retail footfall drops amid extreme weather

By Iain Gilbert

Retail experts MRI Springboard revealed on Monday that wild weather last week had heavily impacted high street retailers, leading to a drop in weekly footfall.
Week-on-week footfall dropped by 10.1% on UK high streets as extreme weather exposed shoppers to the elements and dealt a blow to retailers. Annual high street footfall also sunk, down 5.3% when compared to 2022.

Across all UK retail destinations the footfall gap to 2019 widened to -15.7% from -10.9% a week earlier.

On a regional basis, the North and Yorkshire was the hardest hit region, with footfall dropping 8.8% compared to 2022.

Weather disruption also encouraged Britons to work from home, with Springboard’s Central London “Back to the Office” benchmark registering an 11.1% week-on-week drop.

Springboard’s Diane Wehrle said: “The extreme weather last week had a severe impact on footfall across UK retail destinations with a week-on-week decline which – apart from the post-Christmas week – was the worst for four months. All destination types were impacted, but inevitably – with their exposure to the elements – by far the worst affected were high streets, with a decline in footfall from the week before which was double that in shopping centres and four times as great as in retail parks.

“Whilst the most significant drop in footfall occurred over the three days from Wednesday to Friday, when the adverse weather hit the UK, there was a week-on-week decline in footfall on every day last week.”

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com

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