High street footfall down 80% as UK stays at home


UK High Street Footfall Daily Index - March 25th 2020

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Footfall in the UK has been falling since the end of February. Footfall today is 80.5% down on the same figure last year and 65.2% down on the same figure last week. 

Since lockdown overall footfall has consistently fallen. The day before lockdown (23rd March)  saw a slight increase in footfall, from the day before, no doubt as people thought they should shop, and perhaps enjoy some time outside the house. 


There are also some differences in visitation patters and usage across town types. Many of us were dismayed at the sight of day-trippers and second-home owners travelling to the seaside and countryside at the weekend. Again, the footfall figures give us evidence of where people visit, during the pandemic.


Back on the 1st March holiday towns saw a huge rise in footfall, up 72% on the same day last year. Footfall in the holiday towns, although falling, has not fallen as much as it has in the other town types since the 11th of March. 



Nevertheless, now the UK is in lockdown all town types appear to be equally quiet, which is reassuring, as people are obviously changing their behaviour, in response to the official instructions to stay at home.  Deserted high streets, town and city centres are becoming the new normal,  putting footfall counting technology to a new use, which is helping Governments establish that their policies are working.

Recent analysis by Statista estimates around 25% of the world's population is now in lockdown. Not surprisingly, international comparisons of footfall provided by Springboard for the UK, USA, Sweden and Italy show the dramatic impact of COVID-19 across the world.


Whilst footfall is a key metric in the management of town centres and other commercial areas, since COVID-19 the amount of people on and off the streets has become an indicator of national importance.

As the professional body for place management the Institute is heavily involved in understanding the impact of COVID-19 and supporting government and our practitioners, especially those in The BID Foundation

We are fortunate that our long-term collaboration with partners Springboard means that we have access to a hourly footfall figures across the UK and a daily footfall index, tracking UK footfall and changes in footfall across four town types.