The latest figures from Ipsos’ Retail Recovery Index show that Harrogate has seen the most impressive retail bounce back, with footfall now only -9.8% lower than the same period in 2019.
Harrogate's shops beat off competition from Harrow, Coventry and Newcastle-upon-Tyne to take top spot, as consumers continue to spend their money locally rather than visiting larger cities despite the end of lockdown in the summer.
The town's performance is in stark contrast to Central London which has not yet seen the bounce back experienced across the rest of the country.
The new figures, provided by Ipsos’ Retail Recovery Index, show the City of London down -50.7% and Ilford, London West End and Stratford - Stratford Westfield down by -46.8%, -39.4% and -37.1%, respectively.
Oliver Hillier, senior retail analyst at Ipsos, said: “After a challenging period of lockdown, it’s encouraging to see that shoppers are keen to return to the high streets. Yorkshire and Humber, the South West and Eastern regions have seen the strongest recovery betweenJuly 26 and 24 October 24, with footfall in Harrogate less than 10% off its 2019 level over the same period.
“Central London destinations do continue to see footfall lag behind the rest of the country, however since workers have returned to offices there has been an improvement.
"Over the festive period we expect to see this situation improve with leisure and hospitality venues opening with no COVID-19 restrictions for the first time since 2019.
“Our Retail Recovery Index paints a positive picture for most locations as we head towards the golden quarter and the continued success of smaller cities and large towns suggests that many shoppers continued to visit stores close to their homes, rather than travelling to visit major cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester.”
Nationally, footfall was down -25.0% between July 26 and October 24, compared to the same period in 2019.
Retail Top 10 bounce-back towns and cities
Shops performance compared to 2019
Brent Cross -15.8%
For more information about Ipsos visit www.ipsos-retailperformance.com