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Footfall returns as hospitality reopens

Footfall in England’s high streets rose by 19.6% on Saturday and 28.3% on Sunday in comparison to the weekend before, according to Springboard as Brits celebrated the reopening of the hospitality and leisure industry.

Springboard found that post 5pm footfall in England rose by more than the 24 hour period as a whole on both Saturday and Sunday. Over the period from 5pm to midnight, footfall across England rose by 17.8% on Saturday and by 36.5% on Sunday.

In high streets, where the vast majority of pubs, bars and restaurants are located, the increase was even greater at +35.8% on Saturday and +48.9% on Sunday. In London, footfall rose by even more than across England; by +26% on Saturday and by over 40% on Sunday, increasing by 62.8% from the week before post 5pm on Sunday.

As consumers enjoyed the reopening of hospitality and leisure, it was clear to see that retail trading was less of a priority in England. In shopping centres, where there is a limited offering of restaurants and venues with alcohol permits, the rise was just 6% on Saturday and 10.7% on Sunday.

Whilst in retail parks, where the hospitality offering is even more limited, most commonly chain restaurant eateries, footfall declined on both Saturday and Sunday (by -7.6% on Saturday and -3.6% on Sunday).

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “Despite what are positive signs for the hospitality industry on the first weekend of reopening, it is essential to recognise that footfall remains at around half of the 2019 level, with a decline of -57.7% across all destinations in England on Saturday, and -53.4% on Sunday.

“As the industry takes small steps in reopening post pandemic, we recognise there is still a long way to go before the industry returns to normality.”

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