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VISIT LIVE: Retail re-opening - one month later

Tom Shearsmith
12 May 2021

Today marks one month since non-essential retail re-opened, as part of the UK Government's roadmap out of lockdown.

Throughout the month, visited some of London's most popular shopping destinations to see footfall and shoppers reactions to the latest step in the plans for reopening the economy.

Destinations visited include Oxford Street, Seven Dials, Carnaby Street, Covent Garden, Westfield London, Westfield Stratford and Bentall Centre Kingston.

People returned in greater numbers compared to any reopening last year, with dedicated shoppers visiting stores such as Primark, Zara, Foot Locker and Bershka.

Footfall in April 2021 was -32.7% lower than in pre-pandemic April 2019, compared with -55.2% in March, following clearly significant pent-up consumer demand for bricks and mortar stores.

Covering the four weeks from 4 April - 1 May, the latest data from retail experts Springboard reveals that footfall declined from 2019 by -41.5% in high streets, -39% in shopping centres and -7.4% in retail parks.

Retailers have been warned they are unlikely to see a return to pre-pandemic numbers of customers soon despite the beginnings of a recovery after non-essential shops reopened, according to new figures.

Total UK footfall for the month to 1 May remained 40% down on the same month in 2019 despite the re-opening of retail, according to BRC-Sensormatic IQ figures.

As Monday 17 May will see the return of indoor dining and experiences, it is anticipated that footfall will continue to rise.

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