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Footfall grows 7.7% in second week of reopening after lockdown

Tom Bottomley
30 June 2020

Footfall in week two of non-essential stores reopening - covering the week 21–27 June, 2020, increased by +7.7% on a week-on-week basis, according to the latest figures from the BRC-ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor.

Overall, the reopening of non-essential retailers for the second week after exiting lockdown led to another soft rebound in footfall, as the new retail intelligence data shows, but points to reopening being “no magic bullet.”

Year-on-year (YoY) footfall still saw a decline of -53.4% during the second week of reopening in England and Northern Ireland, but that was significantly better than the decrease of -81.6% YoY for the month of May.

Footfall on high streets declined by -58.1% YoY, comparing to a decrease of -77.8% YoY for the month of May, while retail parks saw footfall decrease by -28.4% YoY, again not as drastic as the decrease of -55% YoY for the month of May.

For the same June period, shopping centre footfall declined by -60.7% YoY, that compared against a decrease of -84.9% YoY for the month of May.

Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said: “Retailers will welcome the rise in footfall during the second week since lockdown was lifted in England. 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. Government must consider ways to further stimulate the economy if it is to protect jobs, and reinvigorate our high streets and shopping centres.”

Andy Sumpter, retail consultant for EMEA of ShopperTrak, added: “Last week we saw the UK continue its retail recovery, with Wales joining England and Northern Ireland reopening its shops. Monday sees Scotland joining the rest of the UK, with its own steady and restricted approach. The high street and shopping centres showed signs of improvement and are starting to catch up with retail parks, albeit with some way to go.

“Whilst UK footfall is heading in the right direction, early indications show that we’re following European trends, but slightly behind pace. The coming weeks will be critical. It may be too early to accurately predict how long this recovery will be, or where it’s eventually heading, but most retailers are doing all within their powers to bring back a confidence and enthusiasm for shopping."

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