Ipsos has predicted a rise in footfall for Q4 compared to the previous quarter, but says that shopper numbers will remain below the level of the Golden Quarter in 2019.

Figures from Ipsos’s Retail Traffic Index (RTI) have indicated that footfall will rise by +10.6% in Q4 compared to Q3, reaching around three-quarters of the levels seen in Q4 2019.

The RTI, which tracks non-food retail footfall from a nationally representative sample of retail outlets across the UK, saw a rise in footfall in Q3 (+10.7%) against Q2. This was in line with Ipsos’ predictions, as footfall reached almost three-quarters of 2019 levels. 

The return of pupils to school classrooms and workers back to the office after summer holidays saw footfall drop in September, down -9.9% on August.

Oliver Hillier, senior retail analyst at Ipsos, says: “The Golden Quarter is a huge period for retailers every year, but perhaps none more so than this year. The imposition of Covid-19 restrictions last year caused huge challenges for retailers, and the sector will be hoping for the busy Christmas shopping period to look more normal this year with restrictions eased.

“Over the summer we saw consumer confidence increase, with the public making the most of opportunities to spend on clothes, beauty, hospitality and travel. There is no doubt that global supply chain challenges will continue to cause headaches for retailers, and because of this the message to shoppers must be to ‘get your shopping done early’. 

“We’re heading into another uncertain quarter, but retailers will be looking ahead with some optimism. After many missed out on a ‘traditional’ Christmas last year, shoppers will no doubt be keen to another element of normality with a return to the high street.”