Retail park footfall boosted by lockdown fatigue and ‘leisure-based’ trips
Shoppers flocked to retail parks last month in bigger numbers than were recorded during the first national lockdown, as fatigue with restrictions has set in, according to the latest research.
Footfall at retail parks was down 42.1 per cent in January, compared to the 68.1 per cent drop reported in April, as consumers visited for “leisure-based trips” to supermarkets, click and collect stores and takeaway coffee shops.
The research by retail data provider Springboard suggests there is “pent-up demand” for shopping trips once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
“Stronger footfall in retail parks is synonymous with a degree of lockdown fatigue and pentup demand to get out of the house and shop, despite food store operators expanding their delivery capability,” the report said.
“Shoppers are also clearly visiting retail parks for leisure based trips in the absence of any other opportunity to shop (particularly as drive-thru’s and coffee shops continue to offer take away and click and collect is operating).
“This is the first indication of the potential for a bounce back in spending when non-essential retailers reopen once again.
In comparison, high street footfall was down 72.6 per cent in high streets and visitor numbers fell 73.6 per cent at shopping centres, buoyed slightly by activity generated by health services such as dentists and opticians.
Total footfall declined 65.6 per cent in January – the first full month of the third lockdown – compared to a drop of 41.9 per cent in December.
However, numbers were up across all retail destinations compared to the first lockdown, when total footfall plummeted 80.1 per cent.