Aug 17, 2020
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UK shopper numbers still nowhere near normal

Aug 17, 2020

Shopper numbers across all UK retail destinations were up 0.8% last week compared to the week before, with sunny weather partly causing the weak increase, researcher Springboard said on Monday.

Weekend shoppers on London's Oxford Street - Photo: Sandra Halliday

It said footfall, declined by 0.5% on UK high streets while it rose 2.4% in shopping centres (which provided some relief from the intense heat) and 1.9% in retail parks.

On a year-on-year basis, footfall at all UK destinations was down 32.5% in the seven days to August 15, Springboard said.

The news came a few days after it was revealed that eight weeks after non-essential shops were allowed to reopen in England post-lockdown, footfall in London’s West End remains 63% down on the year.

That figure came from the New West End Company, which has also warned that one of Europe’s premier shopping districts is facing job losses of 50,000 and lost sales of more than £5 billion this year.

That said, after the government announcement of 1 August that suggested office workers should return to work, there has been a 10% rise in Central London footfall compared to the pre-announcement period. The figure came from the London Business Alliance.

But while the sunshine dampened shopping enthusiasm across the country last week, Fashion Network visited the West End at the weekend and found that the sunshine had been a footfall booster there. It was noticeably quieter in the latest weekend’s wet weather than it had been on the previous sunny weekend. 

Many stores remained closed and other businesses that help attract visitors, such as restaurants, were also still shut.

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