Non-essential retail stores could suffer almost as much as restaurants now that the government’s Eat Out to Help Out (EOHO) scheme has come to an end, new data has revealed.

Springboard research on footfall data for the month of August suggested a spike in retail footfall through the last full week of the EOHO scheme.

However, despite this boost, Springboard still reported an overall 30.8% decline in retail footfall across the UK, compared to August 2020.


The most significant year-on-year decrease in traffic was at high street shops, which have seen a 38.3% drop over last year.

Shopping centres dropped by 33.9%, while retail parks picked up the slack with only an 11.1% decline compared to 2019.

“In August,” said Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director for Springboard, “retail footfall continued to strengthen for the third consecutive month, as the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme enticed visitors back to UK retail destinations.

“All three destination types benefited, although retail parks remain a clear winner in the competition for shoppers.”

She suggested that the “climb back” to pre-Covid footfall levels will “be a steep one” as growth slows by comparison to June and July.