Total UK footfall decreased by -27.7% in May (Yo2Y), with a +12.3 percentage point improvement from April, according to the latest BRC-Sensormatic IQ data.

High street footfall declined by -34.6% (Yo2Y), retail parks saw footfall decrease by -19.9% (Yo2Y), and shopping centre footfall declined by -41.3% (Yo2Y).

Northern Ireland saw the shallowest footfall decline of all nations at -14.9%, followed by Scotland at -24.7% and England at -28.5%. Wales saw the deepest decline of the UK’s nations, at -30.1% (all figures Yo2Y).

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), comments: “May saw footfall levels improve across the UK’s high streets, retail parks and shopping centres. This was in part due to the further easing of Covid restrictions, including the reopening of indoor hospitality, which enticed consumers back to shopping locations knowing they could grab a drink or something to eat whilst enjoying a spot of retail therapy. The successful vaccination roll-out has also boosted consumer confidence and contributed to the improvement in footfall. However, restrictions on travel have denied many businesses, particularly those in our larger town and city centres, vital overseas tourist spending.

“Nonetheless, footfall levels are still significantly down on two years ago. Many high streets have an increasing number of vacant shops, and many retailers still face significant and mounting debts, and with £2.9b in unpaid rents built up over the pandemic."