UK retail destinations enjoyed an almost 40% rise in shopper numbers on Monday after the first Christmas in three years with without pandemic restrictions, data compiled by Springboard showed on Tuesday.
Footfall at UK retail centres on 26 December — known as Boxing Day in the UK and a key date for retailers — climbed 38.8% year-over-year, with central London clocking a 66% increase.
Still, data showed UK retail footfall for Boxing Day was 18.2% lower than pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
UK footfall jumped 50.1% up to 12 p.m. on Boxing Day before tapering off, while footfall up to noon in central London more than doubled, rising 139.2% from a year earlier.
"Boxing Day was far from doom and gloom this year," Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said in a statement.
"These positive results come in line with the first Christmas post-pandemic without any formal social restrictions and in spite of the cost-of-living crisis and the rail strikes, which inevitably affect retailers negatively."
The numbers are "very welcome and promising" for retailers in London, Wehrle added.
Snow And Rail Strikes
Shopper numbers across Britain on the week of the 19 December 4.6% versus the week before, with rail strikes and cold snowy weather dealing another blow to the country's retailers, market researcher Springboard said before Christmas.
It said shopper numbers, or footfall, in the week to 17 December, a key Christmas trading period, was 0.9% lower than last year and 20.1% lower than the 2019 level.
Springboard said high streets were hit hardest, with footfall down 10.2% week on week.