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Published
Dec 21, 2020
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UK footfall rose last week... then came Tier 4

Published
Dec 21, 2020

In what turned out to be a final pre-Christmas shopping hurrah for some parts of the UK, footfall across all retail destinations rose 2.3% last week (Sunday 13 December to Saturday 19 December), according to the latest data from Springboard.


UK footfall was hit hard by new restrictions - Image: Public domain


Shopping centre footfall rose 6.2% and it lifted 4.9% in retail parks. However, it still declined, albeit marginally, in high streets across the UK by 0.8%.

But then came Saturday evening’s devastating news of Tier 4 restrictions for London and the South East and the complete shutdown of all non-essential retail in those regions from the following day. That meant Sunday (20 December) footfall plummeted 39.9% from the previous Sunday across all retail destinations. 

Footfall in Tier 4 is now 64.3% lower than in 2019. In shopping centres it's 75.5% lower, high streets are down 71% and retail parks down 38.1%.
 
Of the three destination types, the greatest drop from the previous Sunday occurred in shopping centres where footfall declined Sunday by 55.5%, high streets declined 39.1%, and retail parks slipped 25%.

“Footfall results demonstrate clearly the impact that the tiered restrictions have”, noted Springboard.

Tier 1 footfall rose from the previous Sunday by a staggering 30.6%, while it declined 13.9% in Tier 2 and by 16.6% in Tier 3. 

“Comparing the result between Tiers 2 and 3 with Tier 4 demonstrates clearly the impact on footfall of the closure of non-essential retail stores”, it added. 

So what’s the outlook for footfall during the last week of Christmas trading? As expected, Springboard forecasts Tier 4 high streets and shopping centres will decline further “as shoppers divert their attention to retail parks where essential shops such as food stores are located. 

“In the light of the closure of the ports and the restriction on freight entering and leaving the UK for the next 48 hours, it’s expected that shoppers will start their food shopping for Christmas today as they will be concerned that supplies will run out, and as each day passes the demand by shoppers will increase”, the report added.  

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