Sluggish footfall recovery in week leading up “Super Saturday”

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UK footfall recovery was sluggish in week leading up
The BRC also says the UK's recovery from lockdown is behind that seen in Europe.
// UK footfall recovery in the week leading up pubs and restaurants reopening remained sluggish
// Footfall was down 49.6% for the week ending July 4 compared to the same week a year ago, says the BRC
// Compared to the previous week though, footfall was up 15.3%

The rate of recovery for footfall across the UK in the week leading up “Super Saturday” reopening remained sluggish on last year, with the reopening of pubs and cafes failing to deliver a boost.

According to a special release of the BRC-ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor covering the week ending July 4, overall footfall in the UK decreased 49.6 per cent year-on-year, compared to a 53.4 per cent year-on-year decrease recorded the previous week.

The latest data covered the third full week since lockdown restrictions were lifted on non-essential retail in England and Northern Ireland, and first week since non-essential retail has been open in all home countries after Scotland became the last to exit lockdown on June 29.


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Meanwhile, pubs, restaurants, cafes, museums, libraries and hairdressers in England were allowed to reopen on July 4 – the day that was heralded as “Super Saturday”.

On that day alone, the BRC said UK footfall for shops rose just 9.2 per cent on the previous week, the smallest week-on-week rise for any day that week, and well below the week-on-week footfall increase of 15.3 per cent.

Footfall on high streets alone declined by 55.7 per cent year-on-year, slightly better than the 58.1 per cent year-on-year decrease recorded the previous week.

Retail parks saw footfall decrease by 24.6 per cent year-on-year, compared to a decrease of 28.4 per cent year-on-year for the previous week.

Finally, shopping centre footfall declined by 56.1 per cent year-on-year, better than the decrease of 60.7 per cent year-on-year for the previous week.

The BRC warned that the UK’s recovery from lockdown was behind that seen in the rest of Europe, and urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to announce measures to boost consumer demand to avoid becoming an “economic laggard” country.

“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,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

“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, the UK’s recovery remains slow, and while safety measures introduced by retailers have been well received by customers, many shoppers are still reluctant to visit physical shopping locations.

“On Wednesday, the Chancellor should announce measures to boost consumer demand – without it, the UK risks becoming an economic laggard in its coronavirus recovery.

“With the first shop closures being announced, the government must act fast to protect the three million retail jobs, as well as millions more throughout the supply chain.”

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