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Retail

UK Shopper Numbers Fell 3.4% As Reopening Surge Waned

The number of people out shopping across Britain fell 3.4% in the week to 24 April after surging in the previous week when non-essential stores reopened in England and Wales after three months of lockdown, researcher Springboard has said.

It said shopper numbers, or footfall, fell 0.8% from the previous week on high streets, 3.5% in retail parks and 8.4% in shopping centres.

Footfall had jumped 88% in the week to 17 April versus the previous week.

"Momentum in the recovery of retail slowed slightly last week, with footfall across UK retail destinations dipping slightly from the previous week when non-essential stores reopened," said Springboard insights director, Diane Wehrle.

She noted that the previous week had also benefited from it being the last week of the school Easter break which meant many parents were on leave and visited stores and retail destinations as a family.

Positive Factor

Wehrle said a positive factor was that the gap in footfall last week from the same week in 2019 (pre-pandemic) continued to narrow.

Footfall last week was 19.9% below the 2019 level, noticeably better than the previous peak of down 25% at the end of August 2020.

The pandemic has hammered Britain's retail sector, leaving gaping holes on the main shopping streets and costing tens of thousands of jobs.

Earlier this month, Springboard data showed that the number of people heading out to shops across Britain rose by 8.5% in the week to 3 April versus the previous week, fuelled by warm weather. [Pic: ©Lucian Milasan/123RF.COM]

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more Retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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