Footfall recovering but ‘real test’ comes after reopening

In March total UK footfall decreased by 68.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, which represents a 4.9 per cent improvement on the previous month, according to research from The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Sensormatic Solutions.

Despite the signs of recovery, the trade association has said that economic recovery depends on retailers unlocking the “pent-up demand” in the economy.
Sensormatic Solutions warned that only after reopening will the full extent of recovery be known.

Footfall on High Streets declined by 64.6 per cent compared to 2019, this compares favourably against the 3-month average decline of 67.9 per cent.
Retail Parks saw footfall decrease by 36.8 per cent compared to two years ago.

This was a decline of 2.3 per cent compared to the previous month, marginally above the 3-month average decline of 38.8 per cent.

Shopping Centre footfall declined by 73.2 per cent, compared to the three month average of 76.2 per cent.

“Non-food retail stores will have lost £30bn in foregone sales over the three lockdowns. It is essential they are able to trade effectively from April 12, and remain open,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC. “Savings have been building up over lockdown, and the economic recovery relies on retailers being able to unlock the pent-up demand in the economy. Government should do all it can to support consumer confidence both ahead of, and during opening.”

Andy Sumpter, Retail Consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, said that the industry may have started to see the “green shoots of retail’s recovery beginning.”

“But, the real test comes as retail reopens later this month - and whether indeed that reopening is, as hoped, irreversible,” said Sumpter. “After a year of yoyoing in and out of lockdown, retailers will be hoping for stability and, once again, will be counting on the continued support of shoppers if any sort of bounce back is to be sustained. Having invested heavily to ensure their stores remain as safe as possible for shoppers to return, the onus is now on the consumer to vote with their feet and ‘use or lose’ the shops they previously frequented.”

    Share Story:

Recent Stories

Find out how HULFT can help you manage data, integration, supply chain automation and digital transformation across your retail enterprise.
Talking shop: retail technology solutions from Brother
Retail Systems editor Peter Walker sits down with Brother’s senior commercial client manager Jessica Stansfield to talk through the company’s solutions for retailers and hospitality businesses, what’s new in labelling technology, and the benefits of outsourcing printing.