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Yorkshire leads footfall recovery but UK numbers still a quarter lower than 2019

HarrogateSix months after non-essential retail began to re-open, footfall is still 25% down on 2019.

Figures from Ipsos show that retailers in Yorkshire and Humberside have seen the biggest recovery of footfall but London and Wales have seen the slowest recovery, down by almost a third.

According to Ipsos, footfall is 18.8% lower in Yorkshire and the Humber, down 21.3% in the South West of England, 21.9% lower in Eastern England, down 22.3% in North West England, 23.6% lower in the West Midlands, down 23.9% in South East England, 24.6% lower in North East England, down 27.9% in the East Midlands, 28.4% lower in Scotland and Northern Ireland, down 31.3% in London and 31.6% lower in Wales.

The ten places that have seen the best recovery are: Harrogate (pictured) -9.8%, Harrow -12.8%, Coventry -13.7%, Newcastle -14.6%, Leeds -14.7%, Salisbury -15.5%, Brent Cross -15.8%, Stoke-on-Trent -15.9%, Shrewsbury -16.4% and Watford -17.2%.

Central London locations have not yet seen the bounce back experienced across the rest of the country. With the City of London down 50.7% and Ilford, London West End and Stratford - Stratford Westfield down by 46.8%, 39.4% and 37.1%, respectively.
‘Our Retail Recovery Index paints a positive picture for most locations as we head towards the golden quarter. After a challenging period of lockdown, it’s encouraging to see that shoppers are keen to return to the high streets. Yorkshire and Humber, the South West and Eastern regions have seen the strongest recovery, with footfall in Harrogate less than 10% off its 2019 level,’ says Oliver Hillier, Ipsos senior retail analyst.

‘Central London destinations do continue to see footfall lag behind the rest of the country, however since workers have returned to offices there has been an improvement. Over the festive period we expect to see this situation improve with leisure and hospitality venues opening with no COVID-19 restrictions for the first time since 2019. The continued success of smaller cities and large towns suggests that many shoppers continued to visit stores close to their homes, rather than travelling to visit major cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester.’