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Oct 26, 2020
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UK footfall dips again, retailers can only dream of 2019-style crowded stores

Published
Oct 26, 2020

UK footfall to retail destinations continues to decline as coronavirus restrictions ranging from the fairly mild to almost-full lockdowns disrupt consumers shopping trips.


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Tracking specialist Springboard said the seven says to October 24 saw footfall down 1.2% from the previous week, the latest of a number of week-on-week declines that mean the bustling shopping streets seen until February remain a thing of the past. The overall number translated into a 3% drop on high streets, but only a 0.1% fall in shopping centres, while retail parks actually managed to rise 1.3%.

While all of those figures look fairly small, when you look at the year-on-year comparisons, the picture comes across as much more bleak. The annual decline was 32.9% last week with a 40.3% drop in Wales, a 40.1% fall in Northern Ireland, and a 38.2% decline in Scotland, with England down a smaller but still bad 32.1%.

Looking back at the week-on-week figures, by far the most modest decline in footfall of 0.9% occurred in England, while in Scotland it dropped by 2.7%, by 3.8% in Wales and by 12.2% in Northern Ireland.  

The figure for Wales didn’t look too bad. But given that its short lockdown only started at the end of the week, “the entirety of this decline occurred on Saturday when the firebreak came into effect resulting in a week-on-week drop on that one day of 66.3%, a huge contrast to the average rise over the previous six days of 9.7%”.  

This meant that the drop in footfall on an annual basis in Wales moved from an average of 33.3% over the first six days of the week to 76.6% on Saturday, which is the greatest annual drop in footfall in Wales on a single day since June 6. 

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