The impact of England’s second lockdown, which began last Thursday 5 November, is already being felt by retailers with an approximate 75% decline in footfall compared to 2019 numbers.
The Guardian reported that each of the first four days of the latest lockdown saw more than a 70% year-on-year decline in footfall.
This followed a a spike in sales for non-essential retailers through October, as consumers looked to complete their Christmas shopping before lockdown measures were implemented.
Barclaycard reported that sales were down 0.1% by comparison to a promising 2% year-on-year hike in October.
Meanwhile, Springboard insight director, Diane Wehrle, commented on plummeting footfall figures: “Last week was, in the clearest sense, a week of two halves.
“With the second lockdown being announced on Saturday evening, before the start of the week on Sunday, but not coming into force until Thursday, it was inevitable that there would be a last minute surge in activity, which is exactly what occurred.
“The resilience of retail parks has been consistent throughout this year and has remained true during this new lockdown with footfall declining almost half that of high streets and shopping centres last week.
“As shops closed throughout the UK from Thursday, the bounce back effect of footfall on high streets and in shopping centres after 2 December may illuminate whether the Christmas season can provide a much needed boost to the retail sector.”
In more positive news, Wales left its ‘firebreak’ lockdown yesterday, with non-essential retailers reopening their doors.