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Queen's Platinum Jubilee to lift UK retail and high street sales

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·Finance Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
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Jubilee  A person wearing a protective face mask walks underneath rows of Union Jack flags hanging across Regent Street in London, Britain, May 30, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
UK retailers are set for a boost in footfall as Brits enjoy a four-day weekend to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Photo: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

UK retail footfall is forecast to rise 8% amid Jubilee celebrations, with a 10% jump on high streets.

Over the bank holiday, the weather is forecast to be sunny but not overly hot on Thursday and Friday but retail experts Springboard predict Britons will ignore the mixed weather forecast to push ahead with shopping.

Springboard anticipates an uplift of as much as 10% in high streets, 7% in shopping centres and 4% in retail parks

Diane Wehrle, Springboard’s insights director, said: “With just a modest rise in footfall last week, we are anticipating a boost this week generated by the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday combined with the school half term break.

Read more: Work from home is the new normal in the UK

“This is likely to be supported by weather that is forecast to be sunny on Thursday and Friday but not hugely hot, followed by cooler weather with occasional rain over the weekend, making visits to coastal towns and leisure venues on these days less appealing for many and increasing the appeal of retail destinations.”

The nation will celebrate 70 years of the Queen on the throne over a four-day bank holiday from 2 to 5 June.

According to the Local Government Association's estimates, about 16,000 street parties are set to take place.

In the lead up to the Jubilee, footfall rose by 2.3% last week across UK retail destinations from the week before, with increases that were broadly similar in all three key destination types.

The ongoing shift back to the office by employees for at least some days each week has resulted in a rise in footfall in central London of 4.1%, an uplift in Springboard's Central London "Back to the Office" benchmark of 6% and by a rise in footfall in city centres outside of the capital of 5.3%.

Read more: UK retail sales rise in April despite inflation squeeze

“The ongoing shift back to office working by employees for at least part of the week meant that in city centres the gap from the 2019 footfall level had narrowed by more than in market towns for the seventh consecutive week. However, across all three key destination types, the gap from the 2019 footfall level widened marginally from last week,” Wehrle added.

With the ongoing movement of employees back into offices, footfall in market towns was -19.4% below the 2019 level versus -15.5% below 2019 in city centres outside of London and -18.9% in the capital itself — the seventh consecutive week when the gap in footfall from 2019 in market towns was greater than in city centres.

Watch: Boris Johnson blasts ‘WFH’ culture

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