Oxford Street footfall still 52 per cent lower than pre-pandemic levels

27 May 2022

Footfall on London’s Oxford Street is still 52 per cent lower than pre-pandemic levels* – the worst hit high street across the UK, according to RSM’s analysis of the latest data from Datscha.

London continues to be impacted by hybrid working and less commuting into the city than previous years, as well as the reduction in international and business travel. Despite this, London saw a slight increase in footfall of 5 per cent in April, when compared to the previous month.

Overall, UK footfall was up 4 per cent month on month in April**, which was driven by significant increases in Leeds (up 23 per cent), Glasgow (up 16 per cent) and Manchester (up 11 per cent). Despite exceeding pre-pandemic levels, Guildford saw a 8 per cent fall and Brighton remained flat, highlighting more people are starting to commute back into London.

Although there are positive signs of recovery across the UK, footfall as a whole, is still 28 per cent lower than in 2019***.

Jacqui Baker, partner and head of retail at RSM UK, comments: ‘With fears that the cost of living crisis could deter consumers away from the high street, it will come as positive news for retailers that some areas have seen a considerable increase in footfall levels. Easter holidays and an improvement in weather are both likely to have played a part, as people make the most of the opportunity to shop and socialise. 

‘In addition, more workers are returning to the office and therefore boosting footfall levels, but London is still at less than half its capacity when compared to pre-pandemic levels. Unfortunately, it’s likely this will continue until the summer when it’s hoped that more international tourists will visit the UK and footfall returns to much healthier levels.’