Oxford Street footfall still lags wider UK recovery - report

London’s Oxford Street is heralded as the UK’s busiest shopping destination, but it’s still struggling to get back to pre-pandemic levels of attraction, according to data from Datscha.

Footfall in Oxford Street is still 52% lower than 2019 levels, making it the worst-hit high street across the UK, analysis by RSM UK claims. It cited the continuing impact of hybrid working, less commuting into the city than in previous years, and the reduction in international and business travel.

Although overall UK footfall was up 4% month-on-month in April, that was driven by significant increases in other cities, including Leeds (+23%), Glasgow (+16%) and Manchester (+11%). London could only managed a month-on-month footfall increase of 5% last month.

But although there are positive signs of recovery across the UK, footfall as a whole, is still 28% lower than in 2019.

Jacqui Baker, partner and head of retail at RSM UK which commissioned the figures, said: “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.”