Half-way boost for central London as increase in number of increases

Central London benefited from a half-time boost on foot last week, with consumers willing to travel further out to shop.

In the week beginning October 24, central London saw a 19.4 percent increase over the previous week.

Footfall levels fell 14.5 percent compared to 2019 levels, according to retail experts Springboard.

Springboards ‘back to office’ benchmark showed a 13.5 per cent rise in central London’s office hubs compared to the week before. This was still a decrease of 19.1 percent compared to the levels before Covid.

Across the UK, all retail destinations saw an 11.1 per cent increase as shoppers flocked to main streets and shopping malls.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said the increase in activity was the largest since the week before the late May holiday.

Shoppers took the opportunity to travel as “the increase in the number of visitors to coastal towns, historic towns, central London and regional towns outside the capital was at least twice as large as in market towns,” Wehrle said.

The return of London office workers remains slow despite government calls

“There were noticeable increases in the number of visitors during the day from 11.00 onwards last week, and consumers clearly took the opportunity of the half-break to go out in the evening, as the increase in the number of visitors after 17.00 was also significant,” she added. .

The boost comes as retailers prepare for the festive season and have assured customers that there will be plenty of products available despite supply chain issues.

An increase in the number of visits last week meant that the difference from 2019 narrowed to -10.9 percent across all retail destinations from -15.3 percent. Overall, the number of visitors was 34.8 percent higher than in the same week in 2020.

The boost comes as retailers prepare for the festive season and have assured customers that there will be plenty of products available despite supply chain issues.

There were concerns that the return of urban workers to the office was declining as Covid infections have increased recently.
Headlines speculating about the need for a winter lockdown are also thought to have deterred some.



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