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Liverpool outperforming Northern competitors in festive footfall 

Liverpool outperformed its northern competitors in terms of footfall recovery as towns and cities return to normal post-pandemic. 

Liverpool outperformed its northern competitors in terms of footfall recovery as towns and cities return to normal post-pandemic. 

78,488,426 visited Liverpool city centre in 2022 with 7.5m visiting the city centre in December, an increase of 19% compared with 2021. The busiest day for Christmas shopping was Saturday 3 December when 377,958 visited the city centre. The peak hour of the month was 14:00 on Saturday 3 December 2022 with a footfall of 34,120. The date coincides with Small Business Saturday and a day to celebrate the city’s businesses. 

In terms of Northern cities, Liverpool is outperforming its competitors in every month in 2022 when compared with 2019. October reached a peak of 4,093,782 suggesting a combination of cultural events including River of Light but also shoppers starting their Christmas shopping earlier. Barclays consumer spending analysis shows a 3.9% increase in spending in November when footfall surpassed its 2019 level and reached 4.2million. 

Footfall in the city centre shows a return to more regular rhythms. The general trend has seen an increase in daytime footfall compared with 2021, representing a return to the office as well as an increase in retail, leisure and hospitality visits to the city centre. The weekend, including Friday, has seen foot traffic increase, with a 107% upsurge compared with 2021. Weekday nighttime footfall has dropped compared to 2021*. 

Different areas of the city centre have seen varying degrees of growth in morning footfall. Whitechapel has seen a 170.5% growth in morning footfall compared with 2021, with Bold Street also performing strongly. 

Bill Addy is CEO of Liverpool BID Company;

“The festive period saw different challenges facing our high streets and city businesses. What our insights show is that the city is moving back towards its pre-pandemic rhythm. Daytime footfall is returning to normal and we are seeing nights out at the weekend as the norm was again. 

This spring will see us go back to our businesses in the Retail & Leisure BID Area to seek a new term with a potential £5million of investment in the city centre to continue to help it back on its feet. Liverpool continues to be a draw as a destination so as well as people returning to work we are seeing visitors coming to shop, stay for a theatre show or meal out. We know that 2023 and the cost of living crisis will continue to hit businesses, which is why a central part of our focus is to give people as many reasons as possible to visit the city centre and enjoy everything we have to offer”. 

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