Customer Behaviour

The opening of non-essential shops on 15th June couldn’t come soon enough, as footfall results from the bank holiday weekend suggest significant pent up demand amongst consumers.

Footfall across all UK retail destinations on both Saturday and Monday was a third higher than on the same trading days over the Easter weekend.

It was high streets and retail parks that experienced the greatest impact over the weekend; high streets reported an increase in footfall of 49% on bank holiday Monday compared to Easter Monday and footfall in retail parks increased by 42% on Saturday compared with Easter Saturday.

Not surprisingly the warm weather played a significant role in bolstering footfall, with destination towns experiencing a higher footfall comparison with Easter; footfall on bank holiday Monday in coastal towns was 62% higher than on Easter Monday and 59% higher in historic towns.

The largest rises compared with Easter were in England where travel restrictions have been eased, with footfall on Saturday over 30% higher than Easter Saturday in all regions. On Monday footfall was more than 30% higher than on Easter Monday in every part of the UK, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where travel restrictions are still in place.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard’s Insights Director, said “We anticipate that once stores open on 15th June – despite the rise in online shopping that has been recorded – the evident pent up demand to go out amongst consumers will absolutely translate into footfall. However an anticipated spending spike could possibly be short lived, as consumers will be cautious and looking at reigning in their spend due to ongoing financial uncertainty in many UK households. Additionally the safety of shoppers and workers will be paramount as announced yesterday by the Prime Minster, so retailers over the coming weeks will need to be working hard to ensure that customer occupancy measures in stores and destinations are in place and carefully managed so that social distancing measures can be implemented successfully.”

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