Bad weather dampened high streets’ recovery last week with retail footfall dropping 3.8 per cent across the country.
Retailers were hoping for a booming half term, however all three types of retail destinations – high streets, retail parks and shopping centres – marked a footfall drop.
According to retail experts Springboard, Storm Eunice resulted in a 32 per cent drop on Friday, when the Mayor of London and other leaders urged individuals to stay inside.
Stormy weather impacted the north and south west of the country the hardest, with footfall in these areas taking the biggest hit.
However, there were noticeable uplifts in footfall from the week before in central London, between Monday and Thursday, with Springboard noting half term trips would have driven footfall.
For the whole week, central London marked a 0.2 per cent dip week on week, while Springboard’s metric for London office hubs saw a 6.7 per cent drop.
When compared to pre-pandemic levels, central London footfall was 38.9 per cent below 2019 levels last week. What’s more, office areas were down 44.2 per cent on pre-Covid footfall levels.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “Unsurprisingly, footfall across UK retail destinations last week was majorly affected by the severe storms, which negated the positive impact of the start of the February school half-term break.”
Storm Eunice followed Storm Dudley’s arrival on Wednesday, which had a more muted impact on footfall.
Wehrle added: “Inevitably high streets felt the greatest effects of the weather, with a slightly stronger result in shopping centres – the vast majority of which offer shelter from the elements – and in retail parks which are easy to access by car.”