Reopened shops give 'soft rebound' in footfall

UK retail footfall decreased 57.2 per cent year-on-year during the first week of reopening – a slight improvement on the previous week at 76.2 per cent.

The latest British Retail Consortium (BRC) and ShopperTrak figures showed that footfall on High Streets declined by 61 per cent year-on-year – although again, this was an improvement on a decline of 74 per cent the previous week.

Retail parks saw footfall decrease by 26.4 per cent year-on-year, up from a 43 per cent decline the previous week, while shopping centre footfall declined by 63.5 per cent year-on-year, compared to 80.7 per cent the previous week.

Footfall was strongest during the weekdays, with an average year on year decline of 52.7 per cent, while the weekend showed weaker footfall with an average decline of 59.8 per cent.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson noted that the initial burst of enthusiasm - which saw footfall improve in the first few days after reopening - quickly gave way to the lower demand which continues to threaten retailers up and down the country.

“Nonetheless, the UK’s rebound compared favourably to other European countries, suggesting that safety measures introduced by retailers have been well received by their customers.

“There is still a long way to go until consumers return to shopping destinations, particularly shopping centres, as they did before the pandemic,” she continued, adding: “With many shops and jobs hanging in the balance, it is essential that the government introduces measures to boost consumer demand in the economy.”

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