UK footfall drops almost 70% despite consumer confidence rising

BRC footfall
Total UK footfall has dropped by 68.7% in March
// Overall footfall drops across the UK in March, the BRC says
// Footfall on high streets declined by 64.6%
// Retail parks saw footfall decrease by 36.8%

New research has found that total UK footfall has dropped 68.7 per cent year-on-year in March, with only a 4.9 percentage point improvement from February.

This is above the three-month average decline of 72.3 per cent, according to the BRC.

Footfall on high streets declined by 64.6 per cent, which compares favourably against the three-month average decline of 67.9 per cent.

READ MORE: Footfall recovers in March with 48% rise expected as retail reopens

Retail parks saw footfall decrease by 36.8 per cent, which was a decline of 2.3 percentage points compared to the previous month, while shopping centre footfall declined by 73.2 per cent.

Northern Ireland again saw the shallowest footfall decline of all regions at 56.4 per cent, followed by Scotland at 66.3 per cent and England at 68.7.

Wales saw the deepest decline at 71.2 per cent.

“Footfall crept up on high streets and shopping centres as warmer weather coincided with the end of the government’s ‘stay at home’ requirements,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

“The earlier Easter date also gave consumers a reason to do a little extra food shopping, with strong demand for chocolate and Easter Eggs leading to extra store visits.

“Consumers appear to be more confident about visiting shops, showing that the safety measures put in place are clearly helping to make shoppers feel more comfortable visiting and returning to stores.

“Non-food retail stores will have lost £30 billion in foregone sales over the three lockdowns. It is essential they are able to trade effectively from April 12, and remain open.

“Savings have been building up over lockdown, and the economic recovery relies on retailers being able to unlock the pent-up demand in the economy.

“Government should do all it can to support consumer confidence both ahead of, and during opening.”

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