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West End retail footfall at 86% of Christmas 2020 peak but shop prices still falling

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New data suggests that retail footfall in London’s West End has this month reached nearly 90% of the Christmas shopping peak seen last December.

The data comes from Shaftesbury, a real estate investment trust which invests exclusively in London’s West End.

It claims to have seen footfall return to 86% of the peak in December 2020, just before London was placed into the third lockdown.

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It said that footfall has continued to build across the area following the reopening of non-essential shops, restaurants, cafes and bars on Monday 12 April.

Brian Bickell, CEO, commented: “It has been heartening to see people returning in large numbers to our iconic streets over the past week, in a safe and secure manner.

“The West End is beginning to feel alive once more, which has been made possible by the commitment that our partners and local businesses share with us to kickstart its recovery.

“Now as we approach the next milestone, it is important that this momentum is maintained to ensure this positive start to the easing of lockdown is sustained.”

This comes as the British Retail Consortium reveals that the prices of items in shops were still falling in the days before the 12 April reopening.

Despite growing consumer confidence, shops were still not confident enough to raise prices, though the drop in prices had slowed.

Between 1-9 April shop prices fell by 1.3%, compared to a 2.4% decrease in the equivalent period in March 2021.

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at NielsenIQ, commented: “With the economy reopening we will start to see a rebalancing of consumer spend and it’s good news that there is still shop price deflation.

“Looking ahead, with many households uncertain about their personal finances, if external cost pressures start to feed through then shoppers may become more price-sensitive over the next few months, as lifestyles are adapted to a new normal.”

Tags : BRCBritish Retail ConsortiumfootfallRetailShaftesburyWest End
Sam Lewis

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