// Footfall across UK retail destinations worsened last month to -14.2% below the pre-pandemic 2019 level
// The north-south divide in footfall recovery post-Covid widened in July, with a gain in footfall from 2021 of +8.9% in the North and Yorkshire compared to a +27.4% gain in Greater London
Footfall across retail destinations in Britain worsened month to 14.2% below the 2019 level, wiping out all the gains made since April.
Some of the weakening in consumer activity was because of the heatwave that swept the nation in the third week of the month, causing footfall to drop 16.4% below the 2019 level from 12.9% in the week before, according to the survey from Springboard Footfall Monitor and Insights.
The widening divide in July indicates the greater impact being felt in the North due to the burden of inflation, according Springboard, with a gain in footfall from 2021 of +8.9% in the North and Yorkshire compared to a +27.4% gain in Greater London.
Springboard Marketing and Insights Director Diane Wehrle said: “It’s clear that a north-south divide is emerging in terms of the recovery in footfall, indicating the impact of the proportionately greater burden of inflation that is being felt in the North.
“The north-south divide in footfall recovery is not a recent trend and stretches back to July 2021, however, the extent of the divide has increased significantly over recent months and by July the gain in footfall from 2021 of +8.9% in the North and Yorkshire was only around third of the +27.4% gain in Greater London.”
“Whilst footfall remains lower than the 2019 level, the trend from month to month in 2022 over the seven months to the end of July averaged +1% versus an average of -0.5% over the pre-COVID decade, demonstrating the demand from shoppers for in-store shopping.
“Looking forward towards the remainder of the year, we would normally expect footfall to peak in August and then dip in September as the school summer break ends. However, in light of the increasing strain on household budgets as a consequence of inflation, this year we are anticipating that in August footfall will plateau or even drop away marginally by circa -1% from July, followed by a decline of around -3% over the month between August and September.”