Nov 16, 2020
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Footfall stronger in latest lockdown than earlier in year

Nov 16, 2020

Retail footfall in the UK is still at worrying lows, but seems to be holding up a little better during the latest English lockdown than during the original enforced closures back in the spring.

Retail footfall remains weak in the UK, but better than it was during the spring lockdown - Photo: Public domain

Specialist footfall tracker Springboard said on Monday that "despite government restrictions, footfall remains resilient and shoppers begin to return”. 

Footfall across UK retail destinations last week was 57.7% lower than the same week in 2019 with a 64.7% drop in high streets and 65.7% in shopping centres, but just 34.3% in retail parks.

Yet between Thursday and Saturday, footfall in retail destinations rose by an average of 13.2% from the same three days in the week before, when the lockdown started.

The Thursday to Saturday increase was interesting because, despite the closure of all non-essential stores and hospitality, which account for the vast majority of stores in high streets and shopping centres, these locations saw significant week-on-week rises. Footfall was up 10.1% in high streets and 14.1% in shopping centres, while retail parks saw an 18.7% rise.

And following the end of the two-week lockdown in Wales, footfall in its retail destinations rose by “a staggering” 135.9% last week from the week before. That supported anecdotal evidence suggesting demand at physical shops was high following the end of the Welsh lockdown.

During the first complete week of the UK lockdown in March, footfall dropped by 75.1% across all British retail destinations, around 79% in both high streets and shopping centres and 61% in retail parks.

But there was still little good news for central London in this second English lockdown. Year-on-year footfall was down 82.4% last week and week-on-week it was down 50.5%.

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