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Consumers ‘have done the British high street proud’ in first week back in shops

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The UK Government’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released a report showing that the British high street has shown promising recovery through only the first week (beginning Monday, 12 April) back open after lockdown.

Collating data from a number of sources, including Springboard figures that showed UK retail footfall up 35 percentage points over the week prior.

Meanwhile, the CHAPS-based indicator of credit and debit card purchases for delayable goods like clothing and furnishings increased substantially by 26% in the week to 15 April 2021.

Of the 95% of adults who reported they had left home in the last seven days, the proportion who shopped for things other than food or medicine increased six percentage points.

Other indicators such as motor traffic, ship visits and online job adverts were all up significantly too, while average cost of items was also up slightly.

Dr Jackie Mulligan, an expert on the High Streets Task Force and founder of local shopping platform, ShopAppy.com, said: “The feedback I’m getting after a week of shops, pubs and restaurants being open is that the public have done the British high street proud.

“People haven’t had the chance to shop so inevitably that created a surge in demand during the first week, but the signs are that it looks set to continue.

“What we’re also noticing is that during the pandemic people have become a lot more supportive of their local shops, as they really want to support the small businesses around them that have suffered so much.

“The pandemic has put hyper-local shopping very much on the map, which is great news for high streets around the UK.”

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