What is the busiest shopping street in Europe?

This past weekend, I did a footfall count in Copenhagen. This is the fourteenth city outside the Benelux where Locatus did a footfall count this spring, and next weekend, we will visit the final two cities of this season: Vienna and Hamburg. As this is the second time that we will be counting in these cities, this is a good time to compare and contrast footfall numbers across the board.

The busiest street on a Saturday is the Zeil in Frankfurt am Main with over a 100,000 shoppers. It is followed closely by James Street in London Covent Garden. In third position is the Königstrasse, Stuttgart. In comparing the European cities, however, we should keep two important factors in mind:

The three most expensive shopping streets of Europe (Champs-Élysées, Paris; New Bond Street, London; and Via Montena, Milan, according to Cushman & Wakefield [1]) are not at the same time the busiest streets. In the case of the Champs-Élysées, this is mostly caused by the fact that this street is shared between pedestrians and cars. Locatus then counts two separate footfall currents on both sides of the road, and the width and activity of this street means we can’t just add these two up. If we did, the Champs-Élysées would suddenly be the busiest street of Europe – Oxford Street and Regent Street in London don’t feature in the top of the busiest streets for the same reason.

On the New Bond Street and Via Montenapoleone, we see that the number of passing shoppers influences the rent prices, but this factor is not all-important. Both streets see less than a quarter of the total footfall on the three busiest streets, but the exclusive character of the shops in these streets clearly does much to drive up rent prices.

The street with the highest footfall numbers on a Saturday isn’t necessarily equal to the busiest street – here, opening hours are crucial. In most shopping areas, stores are open from 10 AM to 8 PM, but in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Vienna, and Zurich, most stores close at 5 PM. As a result, when we calculate footfall per hour, the Kärntnerstrasse in Vienna (see photo) actually scores just a bit higher than the Zeil in Frankfurt.

[1] Main streets across the World 2015/2016

Footfall reports

Are there enough passers-by to sustain your store? This information is particularly useful when assessing the location for a new store, or when monitoring the performance of your existing shop or shopping centre. A footfall report gives you quick and useful insights into the activity patterns of shoppers.

Gertjan Slob

Gertjan Slob is the Director of Research at Locatus. He is responsible for the entire data course. During his work, he is constantly analysing data, and frequently flags interesting trends and developments.