The bad news is it's still nearly 20% below pre-pandemic levels.
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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 Dec. 26 — 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.