10pm curfew slashes footfall at UK retail destinations in September

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Footfall plummets 31.5% across retail destinations in October
Springboard finds retail footfall drops by almost a third during October.
// High street footfall drops almost 40% y-o-y after curfew implicated
// Retail parks fare better, with footfall down just 7% from last year
// Footfall in Central London down 56% as shoppers instead stay local

Footfall at UK retail destinations fell 28.2 per cent in the five weeks from August 30 to October 3 2020.

Springboard’s Footfall Monitor for September found footfall fell 34.6 per cent in the high streets compared to the same time last year, 31.5 per cent in shopping centres and 10.8 per cent in retail parks.

READ MORE: Footfall in London’s West End remains stubbornly low

Although the majority of shops are closed by 10pm, the compulsory 10pm curfew on hospitality outlets meant consumers stayed away from high streets in the evening, with footfall down from 34.3 per cent at the start of the month to a decline of 39.4 per cent by the second half of September.

After 8pm, high street footfall was down by 44.7 per cent, and 42.1 per cent between 5pm-8pm, compared with a drop of 30.7 per cent between 9am and 5pm.

Retail parks fared a little better, with footfall during daytime trading hours in September just 7.3 per cent lower than 2019’s figures.

Springboard’s results found city centres to be the hardest hit by the increased restrictions, with Central London bar far the hardest hit, as the public chose to stay local.

In September, footfall in regional cities declined by 35.8 per cent and by 56.4 per cent in Central London, versus just 24.2 per cent in Outer London and 23.5 per cent in market towns across the UK.

“This is the first conclusive evidence of the importance to local economies of the working population, and suggests that there could be a fundamental long term change in bricks and mortar retailing if working from home becomes an embedded long term trend,” Springboard noted.

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