Shopper numbers across UK retail destinations were hit hard by severe storms, scuppering any hopes of a half-term boost in footfall.
According to the retail analyst Springboard, Storm Eunice when it landed on Friday led to significant declines in footfall on both Friday, February 11 and Saturday. Prior to that, Storm Dudley had a more minor effect when it hit on Wednesday.
Springboard reported that high street felt the greatest impact from weather, with footfall down by around 7% in Week 7 compared with Week 6, while shopping centres fared better (down by around 0.5%), as did retail parks.
The good news was that compared with 2021, overall UK footfall for the week was up 42.6% and down by 6.1% on 2019.
Said Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard: “With Storm Eunice hitting the North and South-West of the UK hardest, it was in these areas that footfall declined the most. Despite the storms, there were noticeable uplifts in footfall from the week before between Monday and Thursday in central London, other large city centres around the UK and historic towns – which were undoubtedly driven by half term trips – resulting in a far more modest decline in footfall over the week as a whole in larger cities than in smaller high streets.”