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Industry News

Published on July 7th, 2020 | by The GC Team

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Retail footfall still on its knees

Data from the British Retail Consortium shows that footfall decreased 49.6% year on year during the third week of reopening non-essential stores in England and NI (28 June – 04 July), compared to a decline of 53.4% in the previous week, suggesting that the return to physical retailing has been slow, with many shoppers still reluctant to visit local stores.

Footfall on High Streets declined by 55.7% year on year, against a decrease of 58.1% in the previous week, while Retail Parks saw shopper numbers fall 24.6% year on year (down 28.4% in the previous week) and visitors to Shopping Centres declined 56.1% (down 60.7% in the previous week).

Total week on week footfall rose 15.3%, with High Streets and Shopping Centres showing higher rises than Retail Parks. But pubs and restaurants reopening in England on Saturday 4th July meant shops had fewer visitors than any other day of the week, with a rise 9.2% on the previous week.

BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said: “It remains a long way back to normality for the retail industry; two weeks after most shops reopened in England, footfall is still only half what it was a year ago.

“The reopening of pubs, cafés and other hospitality businesses this Saturday does not appear to have benefited shops much, with the Saturday showing more modest growth than the days prior to these locations reopening.

“By European standards,” said Dickinson, “the UK’s recovery remains slow.”

Andy Sumpter, Retail Consultant – EMEA of ShopperTrak, also commented on the UK’s footfall recovery rate trending behind that of its European peers and last week’s footfall being around half of what it was in 2019, but he added that those shoppers that make it out to the High Street, Retail Parks, or Shopping Centres are more likely to be shopping with a purpose now.

“But with restricted numbers being allowed in, the pressure is still on,” he said.

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