Families hit the high street over bank holiday

Kasmira Jefford
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Britons took to the high street but avoided shopping centres over the bank holiday (Source: Getty)
Britain's high streets enjoyed a welcome boost over the bank holiday weekend as the warm weather and the start of the summer half term for many schools brought more people into stores.

Footfall rose by 4.4 per cent over the weekend compared with the same time last year, overcoming the decline seen in recent months, according to figures out today by retail analysts Springboard.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard said the figures were boosted by the bank holiday coinciding with the start of the summer half term for many schools across the country together with improving consumer confidence.

“Families were confidently out in force across UK high streets over the weekend, bringing a welcome boost to what has been a difficult start to the year for these destinations,” she said.

Saturday was the strongest day, up 8.3 per cent, as people flocked to coastal and historic towns, which saw visitor numbers leap by 14.1 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

And while footfall fell by 1.7 per cent on Sunday, Wehrle expects visitor numbers to have bounced back yesterday thanks to the sunnier weather, with figures up to midday showing a 6.7 per cent rise in footfall.

But despite activity on the high street picking up, footfall in retail parks was down every day over the weekend, resulting in an overall 4.2 per cent drop, Springboard said. Monday was the worst day, with retail parks suffering double digit decline of around 13.1 per cent.

Similarly, footfall in UK shopping centres dropped every day over the weekend, down 3.1 per cent, though Sunday saw only minor decline of 0.5 per cent, which Springboard said coincided with shoppers seeking shelter from the bad weather that day.

Wehrle said: “Coastal and historic towns proved popular as the sun shone over the bank holiday, resulting in a decline in shopping centres and interestingly retail parks that to-date have been the leaders.”

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