New data from Liverpool BID Company shows more than 78m people visited Liverpool city centre in 2022, up 64.6%, with the city outperforming other northern centres. Tony McDonough reports
Almost 78.5m people visited Liverpool city centre in 2022, latest footfall figures from Liverpool BID Company show – a rise of 64.6% on 2021.
And the BID data, which includes the city’s retail and central business districts but excludes Liverpool ONE, reveals Liverpool consistently outperformed other northern retail centres during the year.
In December alone the city centre footfall cameras recorded visits from 7.5m people, this is a rise of 19% compared to December 2021.
Busiest day for Christmas shopping was Saturday, December 3, when 377,958 people visited the city centre. The peak hour of the month was 2pm on Saturday, December 3 with a footfall of 34,120.
This date coincided with Small Business Saturday and a day to celebrate the city’s independent businesses.
Liverpool BID Company chief executive Bill Addy says the figures showed Liverpool city centre had bounced back strongly from the COVID pandemic. He added: “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.”
BID’s data also revealed Liverpool outperformed other northern cities in every month in 2022 when compared with 2019, the last pre-pandemic year.
October reached a peak of just over 4m suggesting a combination of cultural events including the River of Light festival and 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 4.2m.
As Bill alluded to, footfall in the city centre is showing a return to more regular patterns.
The general trend has seen an increase in daytime footfall compared with 2021. This signifies a return to the office as well as an increase in retail, leisure and hospitality visits to the city centre.
The weekend, including Fridays, has seen foot traffic increase, with a 107% upsurge compared with 2021. However, weekday night-time 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 compared with 2021, with Bold Street also performing strongly.
Bill added: “This spring will see us go back to our businesses in the Retail & Leisure BID Area to seek a new term with a potential £5m 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. This 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.”