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Industry News

Published on November 5th, 2020 | by The GC Team

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Retail footfall expected to fall 62% as vital weeks of Christmas trading scuppered

Retail footfall is predicted to fall by 62% over the six weeks from Sunday 22nd November to Saturday 26th December as the second lockdown will see non-essential bricks & mortar retailers miss out on vital weeks of festive trading until 2nd December (at the earliest).

Should the lockdown be extended throughout December, footfall could drop by more than 80% – the magnitude of decline at the height of the pandemic in April.

Retail insights firm Springboard, which originally forecast a drop of 32.7% during the six-week period, is predicting that footfall across England between 5 November and 2 December is set to average -78.8% with high streets hit hardest with a decline of -87.3%.

Footfall data from 2017-2019 shows that retailers begin to experience an uplift from Christmas shopping in the first week of November, rising on average by 3% per week so the lockdown measures are catastrophic for many in the retail industry.

However, the greatest lift is usually seen in December with an average rise of 11.4% in week 51 of the year, the last week of trading before Christmas, so it is important that non-essential retail is open and trading by this date.

The latest lockdown restrictions will now see online shopping as the only option for consumers throughout the month of November.

Paul Kirkland, Director of Retail and Hospitality at Fujitsu UK, said the lockdown will have a huge knock-on effect for non-essential high street retailers but those with an online presence should be able to survive the period.

“But,” he cautioned, “the longer it goes on, the more retailers will feel its impact.” Kirkland added that online-only platforms such as Amazon and Asos will undoubtedly thrive during this period and will likely increase their market share.

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