Slow recovery for UK footfall as pub reopenings fail to boost trading

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BRC-ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor
The reopening of pubs and restaurants did not have a significant impact on retail footfall over the course of the month
// UK footfall drops over 40% during July
// Reopenings of hospitality did not improve footfall as much as expected
// The figures were an improvement from June’s decline of over 60%

Footfall across the UK continued to decline during July after the reopening of hospitality failed to lure customers into stores.

For the four weeks from July 5 to August 1, UK footfall dropped by 42.1 per cent, although this was an improvement from June’s drop of 62.6 per cent.

This remains below the three-month average decline of 61.6 per cent, according to the latest BRC-ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor.


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Footfall on high streets dropped by 47.5 per cent year on year, which is an improvement on June’s 64.5 per cent.

The reopening of pubs and restaurants did not have a significant impact on retail footfall over the course of the month.

Shopping centres saw footfall decline by 48.1 per cent year on year in July, improving on June’s 68.3 per cent.

However, they were the most negatively affected location, partly due to enclosed spaces.

Meanwhile, retail parks suffered the least after footfall dropped by 22.4 per cent year on year, which is an improvement on June’s 33.8 per cent due to wider open spaces, as well as offering a higher proportion of supermarkets.

“July was the first full month in which shops were allowed to open in all parts of the UK,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

“While retailers will welcome the improvement in footfall across all shopping destinations, it remains well down on pre-coronavirus levels.

“The reopening of pubs, cafes and restaurants has also provided some additional footfall to many high streets, including a small boost to local retailers.

“It remains too soon to say how well retail will recover in the coming months, but it clearly remains a difficult trading period for many physical retailers.

“With retail footfall recovering slower than in many other European countries, much will depend how fast consumer demand returns.

“Retailers have put in place a variety of measures to keep shoppers and staff safe, from regular cleaning and hand sanitiser, to one-way systems and perspex screens at tills.

“We now need the government to play their part by providing clear plans for schools, transport, and office working, all of which impact the way we shop.

“The safety of the public is a top priority and we believe clear communication will help build public confidence and help bolster local high streets and shopping centres during the summer months.”

On Thursday, Springboard found that for the four weeks covering July 5 to August 1, overall footfall across all retail destinations declined by 39.4 per cent, an improvement of nearly a fifth on June.

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