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UK retail footfall continues to improve, but is still low

Published
Jul 1, 2020
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UK retail footfall rose in the second week of English and Northern Irish stores reopening, the BRC-ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor has shown.


Retail footfall is picking up but is still well below last year's levels


In the week to June 27, it was up 7.7% compared to the previous week, although it still fell 53.4% year-on-year across the UK. It remained weak compared to 2019 given that shops in Scotland were still closed and Wales was only in its first week of reopening. Added to that is the understandable consumer caution that's still a major factor.

During the week, high street footfall was down 58.1% year-on-year, which was an improvement on the 61% annual drop that had been recorded in the previous week, and much better than the almost 78% fall during May.

Retail parks were stronger with a decrease of only 28.4% year-on-year during the week, although it's interesting that this was worse than the 26.4% decline recorded in the previous week. 

Shopping centres remained problematic. Despite their footfall being better than in the first week of reopening (down only 60.7% year-on-year compared to 63.5% in the previous week), it was still clearly at a very low level.

“Retailers will welcome the rise in footfall during the second week since lockdown was lifted in England,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said. “Retail parks continue to outperform other shopping locations, benefiting from ease of parking and the larger proportion of supermarkets. 

“Nonetheless, reopening is no magic bullet. Low consumer confidence and social distancing mean footfall is unlikely to return to pre-crisis levels any time soon. Without further increases in demand to drive consumer spending, many retailers will struggle to make ends meet, putting stores and jobs at risk”.

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