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UK: footfall remains low

Mar 8, 2021 United Kingdom
UK: footfall remains low
With the UK still in lockdown, year on year UK footfall decreased by 73.5% in February, with only a 3.4 percentage point improvement from January. The new figures were just published and commented by the British Retail Consortium
According to British Retail Consortium - Sensormatic IQ data, the year-on-year UK Footfall decreased by 73.5% in the four weeks period running from the 31st of January to the 27th of February 2021, with only a 3.4 percentage point improvement from January. Following January, this is the second largest drop in the UK footfall since May 2020 (-81.6%).

“Footfall remained down by three quarters during the second full month of lockdown. Shopping centres continued to suffer the most due to their high proportion of “non-essential” retailing, whereas retail parks benefitted from the presence of large essential retailers such as supermarkets and health stores. While footfall improved slightly due to slowing Covid infections boosting consumer confidence, it will be a difficult time for retail until businesses are permitted to reopen in April. Retailers welcomed the Chancellor’s extension of key business funding schemes in Wednesday’s Budget. Nonetheless, the real challenge will arise in April, as tens of thousands of “non-essential” retailers hold their breath to see if demand returns to stores. Despite the support offered by the Chancellor, the retail industry is not out of the woods yet. In order to support a much needed recovery in the industry and the three million jobs it supports, the Government must ensure the UK’s state aid rules allow businesses to fully access the grants and loans that have been announced", commented Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of British Retail Consortium

Andy Sumpter, Retail Consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, added: “With lockdown fatigue looming large, February saw another month of limited footfall on the High Street, as non-essential retail remained closed and stores shuttered. February did see a small lift in shopper counts compared to January, perhaps due to the ongoing success of the vaccine roll-out and the roadmap for unlocking announced earlier in the month giving consumer confidence a boost.

Image credits: Jason Wong on Unsplash

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