// Springboard reports footfall down at all retail destinations in October
// High streets suffered the worst blow, down almost 40% year-on-year
// Looking ahead to peak trading, Springboard warns: “the spending lost from stores in these key trading weeks will simply not be recovered”
Footfall dropped by 31.5 per cent year-on-year across retail destinations according to the latest results from Springboard.
High streets were the hit the hardest, dropping 39.8 per cent year-on-year, with shopping centres falling 33.1 per cent.
From October 4 to October 31, foot traffic at retail parks fared the best as the nation was put into varying degrees of tiered lockdowns, down just 11.9 per cent.
Springboard also reported back on the vacancy rate for shops in the UK, which rose to 11.3 per cent in October, the highest since April 2013.
That’s up from January’s 9.8 per cent vacancy rate and October 2019’s 10 per cent.
As England enters its first day under the second national lockdown, the research found vacancies rose in every area of the UK during October.
In Greater London vacancies stood at 9.4 per cent, nearly double that of January 2020, when it stood at 5.3 per cent.
The firebreak in Wales and the closure of hospitality in Northern Ireland led to high street footfall dropping in the final week of October by 78.5 per cent in Wales and 50.3 per cent in Northern Ireland.
“November 2020 is a major month in the retail calendar, with footfall increasing week on week during this month for the last three consecutive years, so the loss of this trading opportunity will be irreversible for many businesses,” Springboard said.
“We knew that before the lockdown was announced that it was going to be a tough Christmas for retail with 61 per cent of shoppers already planning to spend more online this year, 64 per cent planning on spending less and only 10 per cent planning to increase the number of gifts they buy.”
“The spending lost from stores in these key trading weeks will simply not be recovered,” Springboard added.
Looking ahead, Springboard said footfall was likely to drop by around 80 per cent during the second lockdown, compared to the same period in 2019.
The research firm said it also expects vacancy rates to continue to rise in 2021.