With around half of all employees continuing to work at home for at least part of the working week, the recovery of footfall in major high streets is taking a hit, says a report published today (5 October) by analysts Springboard. However, the good news for local high streets is that this could impact positively for them as it did during the pandemic.
The uplift in footfall from 2021 diminished for the third consecutive month in September to +6.8%, from +8.6% in August and +15.6% in July.
“High streets are not only facing the challenge of inflation, but hybrid working is also impacting the recovery of footfall,” states Springboard’s marketing and insights director Diane Wehrle. “With around half of all employees continuing to work from home for at least part of the working week, activity in high streets remains significantly lower than in 2019, particularly during the Monday to Friday period.”
Continues Diane: “The energy price guarantee introduced by the government has eased some of the severe doom felt by many households. However, the ongoing rate of inflation combined with the recent rise in interest rates means that from October onwards, shoppers will inevitably exercise even greater discretion and be more considered in their purchasing behaviour.
“The impact on footfall, and therefore on retail sales, will be immediate, with it also being likely that fewer trips will be made to larger centres that incur a greater travel cost. It was a trend that Springboard identified over the previous two recessionary periods, when austerity encouraged shoppers to shop more locally. However, on a positive note, this may continue to deliver a greater degree of resilience in smaller more local high streets that was a key trend of the pandemic period.”
Top: People are continuing to work at home for part of the week, which is directly impacting high street footfall.