LATEST figures from Ipsos’ Retail Recovery Index show Merry Hill has seen one of the most impressive recoveries in the three months since non-essential retail re-opened on Monday April 12.

Merry Hill shopping centre was ranked as one of the leading retail destinations over the last three months, as shoppers continue to visit local high streets and centres rather than visiting larger cities.

Salisbury beat off competition from Harrow and Worcester to be ranked as the high street seeing the best recovery, with Merry Hill coming in at number four.

Central London locations suffered the worst footfall comparisons, with the City of London down -68.9 per cent and the West End -49.9 per cent when compared to the same period in 2019, and nationally footfall was down by -34.6 per cent on its 2019 level over the same period.

Oliver Hillier, senior retail analyst at Ipsos, said: “Our Retail Recovery Index shows that, after a difficult period of lockdown, shoppers are keen to return to high streets. The North East and East Midlands have seen a strong recovery, particularly driven by footfall in cities such as Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Derby.

“Central London destinations continue to see footfall lag behind the rest of the country but we expect to see this situation improve as leisure venues reopen and more workers return to offices.

"The success of smaller cities like Salisbury also highlights that many shoppers have continued to visit stores close to their homes, rather than visiting major cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. However, the attributes that made these cities shopping destinations remain as we expect to see their footfall levels rise over the coming months.”

The Retail Recovery Index track footfall levels across the UK following the re-opening of non-essential retail on April 12.

The data is constructed from the number of shoppers entering stores using a nationally representative sample of over 4,000 retail outlets across the UK, excluding the grocery, convenience and minor retail service sectors. As such it is considered to be the only true measure of retail footfall, drawing exclusively on people entering shops rather than shopping centres or walking down high streets.

Top 10 bounce-back retail locations:

1. Salisbury

2. Harrow

3. Worcester

4. Dudley - Merry Hill

5. Wakefield

6. Harrogate

7. Newcastle-upon-Tyne

8. Falkirk

9. Brent Cross

10. Kingston upon Thames