Retail footfall drops after three-tier Covid restrictions take effect

Springboard footfall covid-19 pandemic lockdown
Year-on-year, high street footfall was down 40% last week
// UK retail footfall drops 3.1% as government’s three-tiered Covid restrictions came into force
// In terms of year-on-year performance, overall footfall across high streets, shopping centres and retail parks fell 32%

Retail footfall across the UK has dropped since the government’s three-tiered Covid restrictions were implemented late last week.

All retail destinations saw footfall decline by 3.1 per cent collectively as the new system had an “immediate impact” on retail footfall, according to the latest data from Springboard.

In terms of year-on-year performance, overall footfall across high streets, shopping centres and retail parks fell 32 per cent, down from 30.9 per cent the week before.

READ MORE: Pandemic causes a record 11,000 shops to close in 2020

Year-on-year, high street footfall was down 40 per cent last week, shopping centres were down 34.6 per cent, while out of town retail parks performed the strongest, with footfall down just 13.2 per cent.

With much of the North East and North West of the country now under stricter restrictions than the rest of the UK, Springboard said “it is not surprising” that the North and Yorkshire saw the biggest drop of five per cent of any region in the UK.

In London, footfall dropped just 2.3 per cent last week, less than many other regional cities across the UK.

Regional cities, excluding the capital, saw footfall collectively fall 5.7 per cent last week and are now down 47.9 per cent year on year.

“The additional Covid tiered restrictions had an immediate impact on footfall in retail destinations last week with an across the board week on week decline; the fourth consecutive drop and also greater than that in previous weeks,” Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said.

“The drop in footfall was equally severe across all three destination types, although on an annual basis retail parks continue to remain by far the most resilient.

“Notwithstanding this, the year on year decline in footfall in all three destination types accelerated once again, with the largest gap between this year and last year for nine weeks.

“Somewhat inevitably, given the advice for people to work from home and the increased restrictions on travel, footfall regional cities declined by significantly more than in smaller towns around the UK.

“The drop in footfall in regional cities outside Central London was twice that in the capital, undoubtedly a function of the fact that footfall has already declined in Central London by far more than elsewhere.

“It is also no surprise that the drop in footfall in the North and Yorkshire region was more severe than in any other area of the UK.

“The 10pm closure of hospitality is having a clear impact on high street activity during the evening, with far greater declines in footfall post-6pm than over the daytime trading period of 9am to 6pm.

“This is UK-wide with the exception of Wales, where high street footfall across the day rose last week from the week before.”

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