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Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021

Shoppers making 'revenge purchases' flock back to High Street

Shoppers making 'revenge purchases' flock back to High Street

Shoppers flocked back to the High Street last week to treat themselves after non-essential stores reopened in England and Wales.

Footfall across all UK shopping destinations was up 87.8% week-on-week, analyst Springboard said.

Jewellers Beaverbrooks told the BBC visitor numbers and sales had spiked at its more than 60 shops.

It said people were making so called revenge purchases - splashing out after months of being unable to go shopping.

Boss Anna Blackburn said: "I think there's a lot of that. Through lockdown we saw online that people weren't going away, they were getting refunds and were spending and treating themselves because they've probably saved money.

"Now I think there are still limitations to what people can do, and I think they're thinking they've always wanted that Swiss watch or that diamond ring, and they are just treating themselves which is brilliant to see."

Springboard said footfall across High Streets, retail parks and shopping centres was up 330% from 11-17 April versus the same week a year ago.

The East Midlands, South East and South West saw the greatest demand. However, despite the surge overall demand remained 25% below 2019 levels.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: "These results provide concrete evidence of the desire of shoppers to return to bricks and mortar stores and destinations.

"The key issue for retail destinations will be whether this momentum can be sustained."

'Further boost'

She said evidence from the last two lockdowns suggested footfall would continue to increase over the next few weeks, albeit at a lesser rate.

"The reopening of indoor hospitality on 17 May will provide a further boost to retail destinations as many indoor venues are located in High Streets and shopping centres," she added.

Catherine Shuttleworth, a retail analyst at agency Savvy, said good weather, school holidays in some parts of the UK and a desire to go out with family and friends all boosted the figures.

She added: "A lot of people have money in their pockets that they want to spend. Whilst online is a way we can do our shopping it is quite boring and dull, and I think we have overdosed on that.

"It is also a physical manifestation of getting back to normal. People want some signal that life is changing back to what it used to be and the shops opening is a sign of that.

"Our town centres have been like ghost towns so going back and putting your money into them is a really positive thing."


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