Reopening is ‘no magic bullet’ for retail footfall

UK footfall decreased 53.4 per cent year-on-year during the second week of reopening in England and Northern Ireland – compared to a decrease of 81.6 per cent year-on-year for the month of May.

The latest British Retail Consortium (BRC) and ShopperTrak figures showed that footfall on the High Street declined by 58.1 per cent year-on-year – compared to a decrease of 77.8 per cent year-on-year during May.

Retail parks saw footfall decrease by 28.4 per cent year-on-year, compared to a 55 per cent year-on-year fall in May, while shopping centre footfall declined by 60.7 per cent year-on-year, compared to a decrease of 84.9 per cent year-on-year last month.

Total retail footfall for Monday to Saturday increased 7.7 per cent week-on-week.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson stated that retailers will welcome the rise in footfall during the second week since lockdown was lifted in England.

“Retail parks continue to outperform other shopping locations, benefiting from ease of parking and the larger proportion of supermarkets – nonetheless, reopening is no magic bullet.

“Low consumer confidence and social distancing mean footfall is unlikely to return to pre-crisis levels any time soon,” she continued, adding: “Without further increases in demand to drive consumer spending, many retailers will struggle to make ends meet, putting stores and jobs at risk.”

Andy Sumpter, EMEA retail consultant at ShopperTrak, said: “Last Monday and Tuesday may have benefitted from a spill over of consumer enthusiasm, but this eased off until Saturday, which saw a 16.4 per cent week-on-week hike.”

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