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Retail

Warm Weather Boosts Britain's Shopper Numbers: Springboard

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 at the beginning of the week, market researcher Springboard has said.

It said shopper numbers, or footfall, were up 9% on high streets, increased 9.7% at retail parks and was up 6.3% in shopping centres.

'Exceptional Weather'

“With exceptional weather across most of the UK it was not a surprise that last week footfall rose across all retail destinations from the week before," said Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered Britain's retail sector, leaving gaping holes on the country's main shopping streets and costing tens of thousands of jobs.

But despite national lockdowns, UK shopper numbers have increased in nine of the past ten weeks.

Latest Lockdown

England's latest lockdown started in January but home improvement retailers and food outlets, classified as essential, have remained open.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that non-essential shops can open again on 12 April.

Springboard noted that following the anniversary of the start of England's first lockdown the previous week, footfall last week was 1.5 times as great as in the same week in 2020 but still two thirds lower than in 2019.

In the week to 27 March, the number of people heading out to UK shops rose by 6.6% compared to the previous week, partly as people refreshed their gardens ahead of the easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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