High street footfall rises again

[21 August] The second week of the Government ‘Eat out to help out’ scheme has further boosted footfall in retail and recreation areas in the early part of the week, with figures at 85% of the pre-covid norm, a small increase of 1% from the previous seven days according to Google mobility data. Footfall at grocery and pharmacy locations remained static. Additional insights from retail information service, Springboard, shows footfall declined by 0.6% in retail parks. High streets in NI saw an increase of 5.7% from Sunday to Friday last week, offsetting a bigger drop of 6.1% in shopping centres. According to Springboard, overall retail destinations saw an increase in footfall of 2.7% week-on-week, compared to the smaller growth of 0.8% across the UK as a whole.

Storm Ellen arrived on Wednesday evening, however last week we basked in temperatures of 20⁰C and over, bringing people to parks and beaches in droves. Over the course of the week, average footfall increased by 10% however this was mostly due to several peak days between 12th – 15th August.

Workplace footfall remained static at 65% of the pre-covid norm. With schools set to reopen next week, we will await to see the impact this has on mobility. As well as expected changes to the daily rush hour periods, employees who have had to work from home to ensure childcare needs were met could now be tempted to return to work, further increasing audience levels within towns and cities in NI.

On our roads, traffic volumes increased slightly, with the seven day average at 48% above the pre-covid baseline according to Apple Mobility data.