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Retail Recovery Index

The latest figures from Ipsos’ Retail Recovery Index show that shoppers in the North East of England were the most eager to return to stores in the first week after non-essential retail re-opened.

Footfall was down by only -15.4% in the region between Monday 12 and Saturday 17 April, compared to the same week in 2019.

Nationally footfall was down -28.9% on its 2019 level, on par with Ipsos’ forecast and at a similar level to December, before the winter lockdown.

Yorkshire and Humberside saw the slowest bounce-back, with shopper numbers -35.5% lower than in 2019.

Retail Footfall Data

Regional breakdown

North East -15.4%
West Midlands -19.8%
East Midlands -22.1%
North West -27.3%
Eastern England -30.5%
Wales -30.7%
South East -32.4%
London -32.5%
South West -33.2%
Yorkshire and Humberside -35.5%



Day-on-day results for w/c 12th April:-

Tuesday          -6.8%
Wednesday    -2.5%
Thursday         -3.2%
Friday               +11.8%
Saturday         +20.4%


Despite the North East leading the way in its footfall recovery, the towns and cities seeing the best bounce-back were more evenly spread across England. Worcester saw the biggest recovery across the country, closely followed by Romford, Derby and Wolverhampton.


Top 10 bounce-back retail locations:

1 Worcester
2 Romford
3 Derby
4 Wolverhampton
5 Leicester
6 Chelsea – Kings Road
7 Middlesbrough
8 Luton
9 Blackpool
10 Carlisle



Top 3 bounce-back retail locations by region

North East
1. Middlesborough
2. Newcastle
3. Sunderland

W Mids
1. Worcester
2. Wolverhampton
3. Stoke-on-Trent

E Mids
1. Derby
2. Leicester
3. Northampton

North West
1. Blackpool
2. Carlisle
3. Southport

1. Luton
2. Colchester
3. Ipswich

1. Swansea
2. Cardiff

South East
1. Basingstoke
2. Reading
3. Maidstone

1. Romford
2. Chelsea (King’s Road)
3. Kingston-upon-Thames

South West
1. Salisbury
2. Swindon
3. Taunton

Yorks & Humberside
1. Harrogate
2. Bradford
3. Sheffield



City centres and tourist hotspots suffer

Central London locations suffered the worst footfall comparisons, with the City of London down -58.8% and the West End -45.6% on the same period in 2019. Aside from Central London, other places hardest hit included Oxford (-41.9%), York (-41.5%) and Cambridge (-37.3) – all important tourist destinations.

Explaining the findings, Dr Tim Denison, head of retail analytics and insights at Ipsos, said:

 “Our Retail Recovery Index shows the huge appetite for shoppers to return to their local high streets after a difficult period of lockdown. The North East and West Midlands have seen a strong recovery, particularly driven by footfall in cities such as Worcester, Wolverhampton, and Middlesbrough.

 “The success of these cities, shows clearly that shoppers are continuing to get their retail therapy in their local area and have not yet been drawn back to the UK’s major retail destinations like London, Manchester and Birmingham.”


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