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“A month of two halves” as data suggests footfall is starting to recover

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As shops in England opened June 15 and in Northern Ireland on June 12, ShopperTrak has provided details of the split between the first two pre-lockdown weeks and the three remaining post-lockdown weeks.

The BRC-ShopperTrak data outlined how UK footfall decreased by 62.6% in June year-on-year, as lockdown restrictions continued to ease, with a 19 percentage point improvement from May.

In the first two weeks the footfall decline averaged 77.1%, improving to 53.3% in the remaining three weeks once all stores were allowed to open in England and NI.

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Footfall on high streets declined by 64.5% year on year as non-essential stores began to reopen which gave more consumers reasons to visit.

In the final three weeks, the average decline was 58.4%, shallower than the 74.5% decline seen in the first two weeks of the month.

For retail parks, footfall decreased by 33.8% year on year. Wider open spaces, a higher proportion of supermarkets and larger stores quicker to reopen helped to shelter this market from a steeper decline. The average decline in the first two weeks was 45.1%, easing to 26.3% in the remaining three weeks.

In shopping centres footfall declined by 68.3% year on year, making them the most negatively affected location, partly due to enclosed spaces making social distancing more of a challenge.

The average footfall decline in the first two weeks was 81.4%, improving to 59.6% in the remaining three weeks.

Scotland suffered the greatest with regards to footfall decline, which only reopened in the final week of June, at 78.5%.

Northern Ireland, which reopened first, saw the shallowest decline of 56.9%.

Andy Sumpter, retail consultant EMEA at ShopperTrak, said: “It really was a month of two halves with footfall down 80% at the start of June before rising significantly post re-opening, though still far down on last year.

“It’s too early to say if the re-opening of pubs and restaurants will help significantly boost retail footfall, but the UK was the last amongst its European peers to re-open doors and is also seeing the slowest rate of recovery.”

Adding: “In a time of purposeful shopping, footfall has a totally new value, but perhaps the biggest challenge currently is dealing with every customer as quickly and efficiently as possible. The most effective retailers are using footfall data to allow customers to know the best time to visit to avoid queues. As customers begin to get used to new shopping practices, retailers will be working hard to ensure they have the right number of staff available at the right times.”

Tags : dataJewellersreopeningRetail
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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