Footfall increases 193 per cent as lockdown ends

Last Saturday's footfall surged 193 per cent compared to the previous week, as England saw its first Saturday shopping day after the four-week lockdown came to an end, according to Sensormatic ShopperTrak data.

In the UK as a whole, High Street footfall improved by +115 per cent, while shopping centres saw a +87 per cent increase.

Retail parks, which were less impacted by lockdown due to their tenant mix of essential retail business, such as out-of-town supermarkets and DIY brands, also saw a 36 per cent improvement.

However, retail footfall on Saturday 5 December was still 29 per cent down year-on-year. But it was the first time since September that footfall rose to the level it did.

Andy Sumpter, Sensormatic's EMEA retail consultant for ShopperTrak, said: “While this will bring some welcome cheer to retail businesses, shops will be hoping this pent-up demand will continue through to Super Saturday (19 December) and beyond - that’s the real test.”

He said instilling confidence in physical shopping journeys and reassuring consumers that stores are safe will be the “cornerstone” to ensuring shoppers keep returning.

“Careful management of occupancy levels in-store and making the most of extended trade hours to flatten shopper numbers during traditional peak times, will help retailers maintain customer experience while making up for lost sales,” he added.

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