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UK Shopper Numbers Rose Last Week But Outlook Bleak

By Maev Martin
UK Shopper Numbers Rose Last Week But Outlook Bleak

The number of shoppers at British retail outlets rose by 6.2% last week versus the previous week, helped by many schools being on half-term holiday, market researcher Springboard said.

But it warned the recovery will be short lived with new COVID-19 restrictions set to close all non-essential stores in England for a month from 5 November.

Springboard said shopper numbers, or footfall, in the week to 31 October increased by 5.2% on high streets, 3.5% in retail parks and 11% in shopping centres compared to the previous week.

Marginal Improvement

Footfall on a year-on-year basis was down 32.5%, a marginal improvement from the week before when it was down 32.9%.

“The school half-term break last week delivered a boost to footfall in UK retail destinations, with a noticeable increase from the week before despite a significant decrease in footfall in Wales (down 53.7%) as a consequence of the firebreak (lockdown)," said Springboard director Diane Wehrle.


She said the UK government's announcement on Saturday of a second national lockdown for England from Thursday was likely to boost footfall Monday to Wednesday as consumers try to make essential purchases and buy for Christmas before all non-essential retail stores close for a month.

"Over the next month the results will look very different, with an annual decline that could reach down 80%," she warned.

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

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