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Record footfall decline in April

UK footfall decreased by 84.7% in April, due to the Covid-19 lockdown which closed non-essential stores at the end of March.

Footfall on high streets declined by 81.8% year on year, while footfall across retail parks fell by 62.4% year on year, according to the BRC Shoppertrak footfall monitor.

Shopping centre footfall was down 87.8% year on year.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of British Retail Consortium, said: “As expected, lockdown has dramatically cut footfall traffic across retail locations, with the majority of physical stores closed to the public. The fall has been slightly less dramatic in retail parks where a high proportion of supermarkets and other essential stores have remained open, slightly mitigating the overall reduction in footfall.”

“With lower footfall likely to continue, along with a corresponding fall in sales, and with demand likely to remain low, many retailers will not return to normal trading for some time, even when they are allowed to reopen. We will see an acceleration of many trends seen prior to the coronavirus pandemic – lower footfall as many consumers choose to browse digitally, and a corresponding rise in online sales.

“These changes are requiring retailers to adapt quickly so that the industry can meet the needs of modern consumers and deal with the challenges the pandemic is presenting. Ultimately, the very nature of many retail jobs will change, with impressive customer service and the effective use of technology becomes even more vital.”

 

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