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UK Shopper Numbers Down 10.9% Last Week As Lockdowns Bite

The number of shoppers heading out to retail destinations across Britain fell by 10.9% in the week to 16 January, versus the previous week, due to the impact of national lockdowns to limit the spread of COVID-19, researcher Springboard said on Monday.

On 4 January, British prime minister Boris Johnson ordered England into a new national lockdown to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases that threatens to overwhelm parts of the health system.

Under the rules in England, schools are closed to most pupils, people should work from home if possible, and all hospitality and non-essential shops are closed. Semi-autonomous executives in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have imposed similar measures.

Footfall Decline

Springboard said footfall was down 14.6% in shopping centres, 11.5% lower in high streets and down 5.8% in retail parks.

It said footfall was 67.5% lower than in the same week last year.

However, that is still some way off the lowest level of down 82.2% reached during the first lockdown last year.

“In what was the second full week of lockdown across the UK, footfall in retail destinations once again declined from the previous week, although the rate of decline slowed to less than half of that in the week before," said Springboard director Diane Wehrle.

News by Reuters edited by Checkout. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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