Footfall drops by 73.5% in Feb

Retail footfall remained low last month, registering a 73.5 per cent decline, as the national lockdown continues to take its toll.

However, research from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Sensormatic Solutions also found that footfall showed a slight improvement of 3.4 per cent in February compared to January.

But following January, February had the largest drop in UK footfall since May 2020, which saw a decline of 81.6 per cent.

Footfall on High Streets declined by 68.3 per cent on year on year basis. After January, this was the deepest decline since May 2020 (77.8 per cent.)

Retail parks saw footfall decrease by 34.5 per cent compared to 2020.
Shopping centre footfall declined by 75.7 per cent in comparison to the previous year.
“Footfall remained down by three quarters during the second full month of lockdown. Shopping centres continued to suffer the most due to their high proportion of “non-essential” retailing, whereas retail parks benefitted from the presence of large essential retailers such as supermarkets and health stores,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive, of the British Retail Consortium. “While footfall improved slightly due to slowing Covid infections boosting consumer confidence, it will be a difficult time for retail until businesses are permitted to reopen in April."

She added: “Retailers welcomed the Chancellor’s extension of key business funding schemes in Wednesday’s Budget. Nonetheless, the real challenge will arise in April, as tens of thousands of “non-essential” retailers hold their breath to see if demand returns to stores. Despite the support offered by the Chancellor, the retail industry is not out of the woods yet. In order to support a much needed recovery in the industry and the three million jobs it supports, the Government must ensure the UK’s state aid rules allow businesses to fully access the grants and loans that have been announced."

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