Swansea’s high street bouncing back from pandemic faster than Cardiff, study suggests
Swansea’s high street economy is bouncing back from the pandemic faster than Cardiff, according to a new study.
Data from the Centre for Cities’ high streets recovery tracker suggests that Swansea is in the top 10 of the UK’s towns and cities to have bounced back fastest in both footfall and spending, while Cardiff is in the bottom 10.
The figures suggest that size may have made a difference, with smaller towns and cities bouncing back much faster overall than larger ones. London remained bottom of the league for a return of footfall and was also in the bottom five for a return to pre-pandemic levels of spending.
Larger cities were more reliant on office workers for high street trade, many of whom were continuing to work from home, the data suggested.
Cardiff’s figures suggested that high street footfall from within the city was up as a percentage from 45% to 53%, while footfall from outside the city had fallen from 55% to 47%.
For Swansea in comparison footfall from within the city was a much higher 72% before the pandemic and had risen to 79%.
“The smallest places have recovered quicker compared to large places,” Valentine Quinio, analyst at Centre for Cities, told the Financial Times.
“It’s a sign that people still see the city centre as a prime destination for shopping and for leisure. And that’s a really good thing against all the claims that a lot of this spending was shifting online.”
But she added that “London is not even halfway there in terms of weekday recovery. A lot of that is commuters”.
“Soon the work from home issue may be a London-only problem. When you look at the data, both in footfall and spend, Birmingham and Manchester are doing much better than London.”
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