Shopper numbers across Britain rose 0.9% in the week to 17 July compared with the previous week, boosted by the return of sunny weather, researcher Springboard said on Monday.
It said the overall increase in shopper numbers, or footfall, was driven by a 3.3% rise in high street shopper traffic, which more than offset declines of 0.8% and 2.2% in retail parks and shopping centres respectively.
"There was a glimmer of hope for the hospitality industry, as the most gains in footfall were made post 17:00 hours as shoppers took the opportunity provided by hot weather to enjoy hospitality venues," said Diane Wehrle, Springboard's insights director.
High street footfall post 17:00 hours rose by 9.8% from the week before compared with 1.9% up to 17:00 hours.
According to the latest Shopper Confidence Index from IGD, confidence among UK shoppers witnessed a ‘small dip’ in June as rising inflation left consumers concerned.
Overall UK Footfall
Springboard said overall UK footfall was down 24.9% compared with the same week in 2019, before the pandemic started to disrupt traffic.
The pandemic has hammered Britain's retailers, already struggling with high rents and business taxes, tight margins and online competition. Hundreds of store closures and thousands of job losses have been announced.
Springboard forecast that shopper numbers will rise by nearly one fifth this week versus the previous week thanks to the lifting of most remaining COVID-19 restrictions in England on Monday.
Elsewhere, UK-based trade union USDAW welcomed the decision of UK retailers to keep COVID-19 protocols in place following the lifting of safety rules today (19 July).