Central London has begun to show signs of a return to the office, but the capital’s retailers and attractions are yet to reap the benefits of a complete footfall recovery.
Londoners marching back to the office has seen footfall levels lift 4.2 per cent, but foot traffic as a whole has slumped 7.8 per cent across the city, according to new data from Springboard.
“Although it is evident that the vast majority of employees are continuing to work from home, it seems that the drift back to offices might have commenced,” insights director at Springboard, Diane Wehrle, said.
The return of regular office life has been dubbed a remedy for the UK’s high street and retail recovery, but Wehrle assured that remote working is still buoying shops.
“Working at home is clearly supporting high streets generally” Wehrle continued, “with a decline in high street footfall across the UK last week from the week before that was less than a third of that in shopping centres and half that in retail parks.”
But overall, retail destinations were left quieter this week, as children returned to school’s and summer holiday’s began to taper off.
“The commencement of the school term and the return to work of those who had been on holiday led to a decline in footfall across all retail destinations last week from the week before, with a far greater drop in activity in coastal towns which had been visited by many for staycations and daycations over the summer,” Wehrle explained.
In comparison with levels seen prior to the pandemic – which has severely slashed footfall levels with a number of emergency Covid-19 measures – central London has seen a 34.7 per cent reduction over the last two years.
Meanwhile, footfall levels in outer London have tumbled 15 per cent below rates seen in 2019.