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Mother’s Day and early Easter a boost for UK retail footfall

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The lead up to Mother’s Day and the peak Easter trading has helped week-on-week footfall rise by 6.6%, across all UK retail destinations. High streets led the charge with activity increasing by 7.9%, while shopping centres and retail parks also witnessed footfall jumps of 6.2% and 4.4%, according to MRI Software.

Week on week rises in activity across all UK retail destinations were particularly noticeable on Friday [08 March 2024] with a 10% increase, and on Sunday [10 March 2024] with a 10.9% boost. Much of this activity is attributed to high streets, which showcased strong performance over the past week.

Regional performance also remained strong with the West Midlands seeing footfall hike almost a fifth year on year, followed by North & Yorkshire (+14%) and the South East (+13.3%). Historic and market towns witnessed strong activity week on week of +10.9% and +11%, respectively.

When compared with 2023, footfall rose by 12.4%; by 15.6% in high streets, 9.7% in shopping centres, and 8.6% in retail parks.

“The week leading up to Mother’s Day, and two weeks out from the peak trading week for Easter, saw a significant rebound in footfall compared to the previous week and year on year,” explained Jenni Matthews, marketing and insights director at MRI Software, said:

“However, it’s important to note that some of the year on year rise in activity will be in response to a decline in activity experienced in the same week last year when adverse weather hit the UK impacting footfall in all retail destinations.

“It’s also very interesting to note, employees returned to offices and this was much more noticeable when compared with 2023 levels as highlighted in MRI Software’s Central London ‘Back to Office’ benchmark. This positive trend could be set to continue, and benefit retail, as more employers encourage regular office attendance, with Boots being the latest organisation asking for all staff to return 5 days a week from September.

“Most significantly, compared to 2023 levels, footfall was six times higher last week in all UK retail destinations which may well have been influenced by shoppers heading out for last minute Mothers Day gifts or families heading out into towns and cities for leisure and hospitality experiences ahead of the special day.”

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