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Footfall Continues Slow Path To Recovery

Social distancing sign shopping retail shutterstock_1701116239.jpg

The BRC and ShopperTrak have reported on UK retail footfall during the four weeks between 5th July and 1st August 2020.

According to BRC-ShopperTrak data:

  • UK Footfall decreased by 42.1% in July, a big improvement from June’s -62.6%. This remains below the 3-month average decline of 61.6%. 
  • Footfall on High Streets declined by 47.5% year on year, which is an improvement on June’s -64.5%. The reopening of pubs and restaurants did not have a significant impact on retail footfall over the course of the month. 
  • Retail Parks saw footfall decrease by 22.4% year on year, which is an improvement on June’s -33.8%. Wider open spaces, a higher proportion of supermarkets and larger stores quicker to reopen helped to shelter Retail Parks from a steeper decline. 
  • Shopping Centre footfall declined by 48.1% year on year in July, improving on June’s -68.3%. They were the most negatively affected location, partly due to enclosed spaces making social distancing more of a challenge. 
  • Northern Ireland saw the shallowest shopping centre footfall decline of all regions, with -23.1%. Wales and Scotland saw higher rates of decline than the UK average, with -53.3% and -54.4% respectively.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: 
“July was the first full month in which shops were allowed to open in all parts of the UK. While retailers will welcome the improvement in footfall across all shopping destinations, it remains well down on pre-coronavirus levels. The reopening of pubs, cafes and restaurants has also provided some additional footfall to many high streets, including a small boost to local retailers. It remains too soon to say how well retail will recover in the coming months, but it clearly remains a difficult trading period for many physical retailers.

“With retail footfall recovering slower than in many other European countries, much will depend how fast consumer demand returns. Retailers have put in place a variety of measures to keep shoppers and staff safe, from regular cleaning and hand sanitiser, to one-way systems and perspex screens at tills. We now need Government to play their part by providing clear plans for schools, transport, and office working, all of which impact the way we shop. The safety of the public is a top priority and we believe clear communication will help build public confidence and help bolster local high streets and shopping centres during the summer months."

Andy Sumpter, Retail Consultant – EMEA of ShopperTrak, said:
“July saw a number of lockdown measures rescinded, and retailers will now look and hope for a return to some form of normality. As well as more retailers re-opening in Scotland at the end of June, there was the introduction of mandated face coverings in stores, where adoption and compliance seem to have been good generally. The first full week with face coverings did not deliver any significant uptick in footfall over the prior week, however, it is likely that the good weather was a more significant factor.

“As footfall across parts of Europe has faltered recently, retailers will be hoping that the UK’s slow-and-steady recovery will continue. Furthermore, data from the US has shown that states that mandated face coverings first benefited from improved footfall recoveries, so we’ll be looking for the same here too in the coming weeks.”

Source : BRC-ShopperTrak

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07 August 2020

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