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Weekly retail traffic falls for the first time since the end of April

Bond Street

Fewer people went shopping in the seven days to Saturday, September 12, than the prior week, according to retail analyst Springboard.

It is the first weekly decline in footfall since the end of April, and coincides with the first press conference from Boris Johnson in several months at which he introduced the “rule of six” limiting the number of people who can gather indoors or outdoors in England.

It was also the first week when all children returned to school. It was hoped that this would lead to more workers returning to their offices and boosting activity in city centres.

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Year on year, footfall was down by 27.5% last week, a deterioration from a YoY difference of -25% in the week before.

In high streets and retail parks there were week on week declines of -5.4% and -5.2% respectively, whilst in shopping centres footfall dropped by -9%.

Footfall in high streets is now 33.7% lower than last year, and 31.2% lower in shopping centres.

Retail parks have bounced back fastest after the covid quarter, and are now down by just -10.4%.

Footfall in regional city centres fell faster than the national average (-7.9%) last week, but Central London, which has suffered more than any other market, saw retail traffic drop by just 3%.

Footfall declined in every part of the UK from the week before, with drops ranging from -4.1% in Scotland and -4.5% in Greater London to -9.2% in Wales and -7.9% in the South East.

The largest annual decline of -33.3% was in Scotland, driven by much poorer performance in high streets where footfall remained 40.5% below last year.

6 September – 12 September 2020
  Year on year % change in footfall Week on week % change in footfall
UK high streets -33.7% -5.4%
UK retail parks -10.4% -5.2%
UK shopping centres -31.2% -9.0%
All UK retail destinations -27.5% -6.3%
6 September – 12 September 2020
  Year on year % change in footfall Week on week % change in footfall
Coastal Towns -17.1% -9.8%
Historic Towns -27.9% -7.7%
Regional Cities -43.0% -7.9%
Regional Cities excl London -34.0% -9.6%
Central London -55.5% -3.0%
Outer London -23.6% -1.7%
Market Towns -22.7% -4.8%
 
6 September – 12 September 2020
  Year on year % change in footfall Week on week % change in footfall
East -23.0% -7.8%
East Midlands -23.8% -6.0%
Greater London -29.1% -4.5%
North & Yorkshire -24.4% -6.5%
Scotland -33.3% -4.1%
South East -24.5% -7.9%
South West -21.6% -6.4%
Wales -23.8% -9.2%
West Midlands -28.6% -7.7%
Northern Ireland -25.4% -6.6%

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Tags : retail footfallSpringboard
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder