Retail footfall for the full year in 2020 was down a massive 43.4% compared to the previous year, with the late-December slew of lockdowns around the UK cutting short the Christmas shopping period.

This comes via BRC-ShopperTrak data which also revealed that high street footfall was down by nearly half (49.5%) in 2020.

UK footfall was down 46.1% year-on-year in December, meanwhile, which the British Retail Consortium (BRC) noted was an improvement over November after England’s four-week national lockdown.

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Meanwhile, Northern Ireland saw the shallowest footfall decline of all regions at 47.2%, followed by Scotland at 50.2%. Wales saw a decline of 52.3%.

Helen Dickinson, chief-executive of British Retail Consortium, said: “After an encouraging start to the month Christmas shopper numbers dwindled as December progressed, due in large part to the creation of Tier 4 in England and increased restrictions elsewhere in the UK.

“High streets and shopping centres continued to see the most substantial decline in shoppers, as their ‘non-essential’ tenants were forced to close their doors during the weeks leading up to and following Christmas.

“London, the South East and Wales were hardest hit, with footfall dropping by over four fifths in the final week. However, it has been a hard year for the entire country, with footfall down by 43% in 2020 compared to the previous year.

“Now that all parts of the UK are effectively in lockdown and with social distancing measures expected to continue well into the New Year, ‘non-essential’ stores will be unable to trade their way back to recovery.

“A third lockdown will be one too many for some businesses. Rent bills continue to weigh heavily and the threat of a return to full business rates liability in April still looms.

“The Government must urgently reassure those businesses hardest hit by the pandemic that they will receive vital financial support in the form of an extension to the coronavirus business rates relief.”