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City footfall increases as workers return to the office

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Image: FashionUnited

A rise in office office workers is having a positive affect on footfall, which last week rose 3.3 percent in city centres as commuters and workers returned to their workplaces.

In central London footfall increased 4.4 percent, while high streets across the nation saw an uptick of 1.6 percent.

According to retail experts Springboard, the modest performance last week saw general footfall 6.7 percent higher than in 2021, an improvement from the 5.1 percent in the previous week.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, comments: “Footfall across UK retail destinations strengthened marginally last week from the week before, however, this stronger performance was the result of a bounce back in footfall on Wednesday, when it had plummeted in the week before last due to rain.

Excluding this one day, footfall was flat from the week before, a strong indicator of the cautiousness of consumers in the light of the current economic challenges. This cautiousness is particularly apparent in a drop in footfall across all three key destination types on Saturday, the peak trading day of the week.

Whilst consumers are clearly being cautious, the signs pointed to employees gravitating into their offices last week. Footfall in larger cities across the UK rose by twice the high street average, with an even greater uplift in Central London whilst in market towns and Greater London - which have become strong indicators of the extent of home working - footfall was weaker.

The increase in office working last week will have supported footfall across the UK, and in both high streets and shopping centres it rose in six of the ten UK geographies last week. In contrast, in retail parks – which are further away from office locations - footfall declined in all but one area of the UK.”