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Last vestiges of tier 3 prop up shopping but UK footfall drops 56% over new year week

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Tier 4 areas of England saw year on year footfall drop by over 72% over the post-Christmas and new year week ending January 2.

More than 87% of shoppers in central London stayed away compared to the same week in 2019-20.

Footfall across the UK as a whole was 55.7% lower than in the same week last year; 64.6% lower in high streets, 60% lower in shopping centres and 31.9% lower in retail park, according to retail analyst Springboard.

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Closure of non-essential retail as areas moved from tier 3 to tier 4 decimated retail. Footfall in tier 4 locations was 72.2% lower than last year, whilst only 33.9% lower in tier 3 locations — a glimmer of hope that shoppers will return once the tightest restrictions are lifted.

Smaller towns continue to be more resilient, although declines in footfall are still significant with an annual decline in footfall of -59.3% in coastal towns, -69.6% in historic towns and -63.2% in market towns.

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