English footfall surges as non-essential stores reopen, but still down on last year

Jun 15, 2020
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As English stores reopened on June 15, footfall increased by 41.7% compared to the previous Monday, according to specialist tracking company Springboard. 

Queues formed as stores reopened on Monday in England

Looking at retail destinations up to noon on Monday, high streets were the big winners with a footfall increase of 51.7% compared to last week. 

But shopping centres came off worse with an increase of only 37%, although this could have been due to sunny weather that meant consumers didn't mind queueing in the open for high street shops. 

Retail parks in England were up only 25.1% compared to last week, but this is likely to be due to the fact that many retail parks have been open all the time as they contain ‘essential’ stores such as supermarkets and hardware shops.

Not that the rush of consumers means Britons were ignoring the events of the past few months and overall footfall was down year-on-year by as much as 34.2%. So even with a surge compared to last week, it's clear that things aren’t yet anywhere near being back to normal. 

Many people decided not to shop on Monday who might have done had the pandemic never happened. For some, there may have been concerns around long waits to access stores as this is the first day back for so many stores. But for others, there are worries about the behaviour of their fellow shoppers. 

A study that Springboard conducted in conjunction with AL Marketing, showed that shoppers had reservations concerning safety prior to returning to shopping destinations. And many worried about other people not following the safety measures within shops (36%), as well as there being long queues to get in (32%). 

Survey respondents said that observing social distancing (29%), limiting the number of people in stores (26%) and the availability of hand sanitisers (22%) were the main elements that would make them feel safer when visiting shopping destinations.

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