Retail Recovery Index
With non-essential retail allowed to re-open across England from 12 April, the Retail Recovery Index tracks the cities enjoying the best retail recovery as lockdown restrictions gradually ease across the country.
The Retail Recovery Index data is constructed from the number of shoppers entering stores using a nationally representative sample of over 4000 retail outlets across the UK, excluding the grocery, convenience and minor retail service sectors. As such it is considered to be the only true measure of retail footfall, drawing exclusively on people entering shops rather than shopping centres or walking down high streets.
The latest figures from Ipsos show that retailers in the North East have seen the biggest recovery of footfall in the three months since non-essential retail re-opened on Monday 12 April.
Ipsos’s Retail Recovery Index found that national footfall was down by -34.6% on its 2019 level, since stores reopened in April.
Wales has seen the slowest bounce-back, with shopper numbers -37.9% lower than in 2019.
|Yorks & Humbs||-34.2%|
|Scotland & N.Ireland||-37.9%|
Despite the North East leading the way in its footfall recovery, the cities seeing the best bounce-back were more evenly spread across England. Salisbury saw the biggest recovery across the country, closely followed by Harrow, Worcester and Dudley.
Top 10 bounce-back cities:
|4||Dudley – Merry Hill|
|10||Kingston upon Thames|
Central London locations suffered the worst footfall comparisons, with the City of London down -68.9% and the West End -49.9% when compared to the same period in 2019.
Between Monday 19 July and Sunday 25 July, footfall was down by -32.8% compared to the same week in 2019.
|Yorks & Humbs||-29.1%|
|Scotland & N.Ireland||-32.2%|
Explaining the findings, Oliver Hillier, senior retail analyst at Ipsos, said:
“Our Retail Recovery Index shows that, after a difficult period of lockdown, shoppers are keen to return to high streets. The North East and East Midlands have seen a strong recovery, particularly driven by footfall in cities such as Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Derby.
“Central London destinations continue to see footfall lag behind the rest of the country but we expect to see this situation improve as leisure venues reopen and more workers return to offices.
“The success of smaller cities and large towns also highlights that many shoppers have continued to visit stores close to their homes, rather than visiting major cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. However, the attributes that made these cities shopping destinations remain as we expect to see their footfall levels rise over the coming months.”
First week of reopening
Footfall was down by only -15.4% in the North East of England between Monday 12 and Saturday 17 April, compared to the same week in 2019.
Nationally footfall was down -28.9% on its 2019 level, on par with Ipsos’ forecast and at a similar level to December, before the winter lockdown.
Yorkshire and Humberside saw the slowest bounce-back, with shopper numbers -35.5% lower than in 2019.
|Yorkshire and Humberside||-35.5%|
Day-on-day results for w/c 12th April:-
Despite the North East leading the way in its footfall recovery, the towns and cities seeing the best bounce-back were more evenly spread across England. Worcester saw the biggest recovery across the country, closely followed by Romford, Derby and Wolverhampton.
Top 10 bounce-back retail locations:
|6||Chelsea – Kings Road|
City centres and tourist hotspots suffer
Central London locations suffered the worst footfall comparisons, with the City of London down -58.8% and the West End -45.6% on the same period in 2019. Aside from Central London, other places hardest hit included Oxford (-41.9%), York (-41.5%) and Cambridge (-37.3) – all important tourist destinations.
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