Staycations fuel return to the High Street

Staycations fuel return to the High Street: Brits who chose to holiday at home are credited with ‘welcome boost’ as footfall moves closer to pre-pandemic levels

  • Growing popularity of staycations is fuelling gradual return to high streets 
  • Footfall in retail destinations last month was 18.6 per cent lower than in 2019  
  • However, this represented a significant improvement against July this year 

The growing popularity of staycations is fuelling the gradual return to British high streets as footfall in retail destinations moves closer to pre-Covid levels, new research indicates.

The latest monitor by retail researchers at Springboard published yesterday showed that footfall in retail destinations last month was 18.6 per cent lower than the same month in 2019.

However, this represented a significant improvement against July, which had experienced a 24.2 per cent decline on last year after Covid restrictions were lifted on the 19th.

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director, said footfall activity, particularly in high streets, was boosted by ‘the popularity of staycations and daycations in August’.  

The growing popularity of staycations is fuelling the gradual return to British high streets as footfall in retail destinations moves closer to pre-Covid levels, new research indicates (stock)

Springboard said it highlighted progress in the recovery of shopper numbers, with the fall dipping below 20 per cent for the first time since the start of the Covid pandemic. 

Retail parks were once again the most resilient shopping destination in the UK, with footfall just 2.4 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

Though central London reported footfall was 38 per cent down on 2019 levels as it feels the impact of fewer foreign tourists, the number represents a big improvement against the 50 per cent drop it saw in July. 

The latest monitor by retail researchers at Springboard showed that footfall in August was 18.6 per cent lower than the same month in 2019 (Portobello Road stock)

Meanwhile, high streets reported a 23.5 per cent decline against August 2019, while shopping centres saw a 24 per cent drop.   

Ms Wehrle said: ‘Despite restrictions being lifted for overseas travel, it is clear that Brits chose to stay home for the summer which gave a welcome boost to high streets and particularly those that are attractive visitor destinations such as coastal and historic towns.

‘In large cities outside of the capital, the improvement in footfall in August was nearly double that in smaller high streets, putting them at a comparable level versus 2019 for the first time.

‘These results reflect the findings of the Springboard UK Retail Consumer Report for August which identified that 89 per cent of consumers feel some degree of comfort in visiting retail destinations and 50 per cent are completely comfortable in making trips.’     

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