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UK footfall suffers due to Coronavirus

Sadiyah Ismailjee
16 March 2020

According to Ipsos Retail Performance, UK retail footfall reached a 12.7 percent year-on-year decrease on Friday as concerns over Coronavirus continue increasing. In addition, the day also marked the first time cases of Covid-19 exceeded 100 in the UK.

Since Sunday 1 March there has been a slight increase of 0.2 percent year-on-year, which Ipsos explained this as the potential result of consumers hitting the shops to stockpile.

Director of Retail Intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance, Tim Denison, said in a statement: “It isn’t a surprise that footfall has taken a big hit since the outbreak of Coronavirus really ramped up a notch last week."

“Shoppers will likely be wary of stepping into stores knowing that they might be exposed to a harmful virus – a sharp decline of -12.7 percent year-on-year shows how habits are shifting. We are almost at the same level of decline in footfall from the outbreak that we saw last month when the storms caused such disruption."

Denison advised shoppers continue to practice “vigilant” personal hygiene as recommended by the NHS and refrain from “panic buying” which places increasing amounts of unnecessary strain on retailers.

He added: “It will be interesting to see how the retail landscape progresses as the pandemic continues, and we can hope for the retailer’s sake that the future starts to look brighter very quickly.”

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