Shopper numbers across Britain slumped 32% last Friday versus the previous Friday as Storm Eunice kept people at home, researcher Springboard has said.
The Atlantic storm battered northwestern Europe with record winds of up to 122 miles per hour, killing at least nine people, knocking out power for tens of thousands and shredding the roof of London's O2 arena.
Springboard said shopper numbers, or footfall, was down 3.8% across the United Kingdom in the week to 19 February versus the previous week. It was, however, up 5.5% from Sunday to Thursday, before the storm hit.
Impact On Footfall
“Unsurprisingly, footfall across UK retail destinations last week was majorly affected by the severe storms, which negated the positive impact of the start of the February school half-term break," said Springboard director Diane Wehrle.
The researcher said footfall was down 26.3% versus the same week in 2019 - before the pandemic impacted traffic.
Elsewhere, shopper confidence in the UK reached its lowest point on record (-14) in January 2022 despite the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, according to data from IGD.
British shoppers were also hit by the biggest increase in prices charged by major retailers in more than nine years in January, according to a survey that added to signs of accelerating inflation momentum.
However, recent ONS data revealed that retail sales grew faster than expected in January, recovering about half the losses suffered when a wave of coronavirus cases caused many shoppers to stay at home during December.