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Published on July 2nd, 2021 | by The GC Team

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Continued retail recovery predicted for Q3

The latest forecast released by Ipsos Retail Performance, which measures footfall in the UK’s non-food stores, indicates that shopper numbers will continue to strengthen over the summer, reaching almost three quarters of 2019 levels.

Ipsos’s Retail Traffic Index (RTI) shows that the store recovery has been as it had projected over Q2, with footfall running about two thirds of 2019 levels since the national reopening.

Retail analysts at the firm report that the rapid rollout of vaccinations, the steps that retailers have put in place to safeguard their customers and colleagues, the release of pent-up demand, and consumers dipping into the household savings from last year have all contributed to retail rallying over April, May and into June.

Dr Tim Denison, head of retail analytics and insight at Ipsos, explained the findings: “We fully expect footfall levels to continue to recuperate in Quarter 3. The planned lifting of remaining restrictions in July will increase retail’s competition with hospitality, entertainment and leisure for a share of disposable income, but despite this, our latest forecast indicates that footfall will come back to almost three-quarters of its 2019 level in the quarter (74.5%).”

Ipsos has been monitoring footfall very closely since April’s reopening, comparing it to the levels after the first and second lockdowns of last year. Denison said there is an eagerness to know how much of the swing of consumer spending to online shopping will stick and how much will return to physical stores.

“In reality, it is not binary,” he commented. “We know that shoppers use both channels in their decision-making and which channel is accredited with an actual sale is a bit academic. Far more useful in assessing the health of the sector is to monitor the level of activity both on and offline.

“Consumer confidence continues to rebuild, now standing at its highest level since the first lockdown, employment levels remain buoyant and Britain is rediscovering its fondness for one of its most popular social pastimes.”

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