King’s Coronation expected to boost high street footfall as shoppers celebrate in town centres

As the nation prepares for the Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday 6 May, retailers are hoping for a much-needed uplift in footfall.

A recent forecast published by MRI Springboard estimates a 12 per cent rise in shoppers on the Bank Holiday Monday (8 May) following the King’s coronation compared to the same weekend in 2022. High street retailers could also see a 6 per cent rise in footfall on the previous Monday – the May Day Bank Holiday – as the population makes the most of the extended weekend.

However, it’s predicted that footfall will drop by -8 per cent overall compared to the previous week on Saturday 6 May – the day of the Coronation service. This is because the weekend before is the May bank holiday when Springboard expects footfall to rise by around 12 per cent as shoppers enjoy the warmer weather and the longer day light hours.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at MRI Springboard, says the Coronation weekend will be a once in a lifetime event for UK consumers: “On Saturday, the day of the actual Coronation service, MRI Springboard forecasts that footfall in high streets will be -7 per cent lower than on the previous Saturday and -10 per cent lower in shopping centres.

“The stronger result in high streets compared to shopping centres is likely to be a result of some town and city centres holding events to celebrate the Coronation, and installing screens so that consumers can watch the Coronation service from the town centre. We forecast that footfall in retail parks will be -5 per cent lower than the week before, following a rise in footfall to retail parks over the late May bank holiday driven by purchases of home and garden products as consumers make the most of two bank holiday weekends.

“On Sunday 7 May, footfall across all UK retail destinations is forecast to be marginally lower than on the previous Sunday (-2 per cent), but again a rise in footfall in high streets is forecast as screens in town centres will be showing the Coronation concert making them attractive destinations for friends and families to gather for meals and drinks.

“In shopping centres footfall is forecast to be -8 per cent lower than on the previous Sunday as high streets represent a greater lure with their strong representation of bars and restaurants from where customers can enjoy the Coronation concert.

“On Monday 8 May, footfall is forecast to be marginally lower than on the early May Bank Holiday Monday (-0.5 per cent), with drops of -8 per cent in retail parks and -1 per cent in shopping centres, but with a forecast rise of 6 per cent in high streets as shoppers enjoy the last day off before returning to work and school on the following day.”

According to reports, most supermarkets and convenience shops will stay open over the Coronation weekend and bank holiday, but most local indies are expected to close their doors.