shoppers on busy street in the UK

New data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) shows a steep decline in UK footfall across various retail locations after a second national lockdown saw customers turn to online shopping due to the mass closure of stores.

UK Footfall fell by roughly two-thirds in November 2020 compared to the previous year, with a 31.9 percent decline from October. This remains below the longer-term 12-month average decline of 38.5 percent.

Furthermore, BRC reports that footfall on high streets decline by 63.9 percent year on year, making it the worst-performing location in November and the worst performing location for the fourth consecutive month.

Advertisement | Continue story below

Similarly, shopping centre footfall declined by 61.8 percent year on year. This was just over a twenty-four-percentage point decline compared to October and was below the 12-month average decline of 42.4 percent.

Retail parks didn’t see as much of a decline in footfall as the high street or shopping centres, with footfall decreasing by over a quarter compared to November 2019. BRC says this is below both the three-month average decline of 14 percent and 12-month average decline of 21.6 percent.

The consortium also notes that as retail parks have a higher proportion of supermarkets and other ‘essential stores’, this encouraged people to still visit these locations.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief-Executive of British Retail Consortium, said: “Footfall plummeted once again as England underwent its second national lockdown in November. With the majority of stores closed, many missed out on the usual Black Friday boost to store visits as customers hunted for bargains online instead.

“Retail parks were hit less hard thanks to a higher proportion of supermarkets and other essential stores in those locations, slightly mitigating the overall drop in footfall. Now that all of retail is open again, customers can get out and do their Christmas shopping confident that stores are covid-secure and retailers are doing everything to keep them safe.”

In England, non-essential shops and other businesses were permitted to reopen on the 2 December for the first time in four weeks. On this day, footfall increased by 150 percent compared with the previous week.

Helen continued: “After two lockdowns in England, and a shortened Christmas trading period, many retailers are feeling the pressure in the final weeks of the year. ‘Non-essential’ retailers face mounting rent bills on top of a return to full business rates liability from April 2021.

“The Government must address this by extending the moratorium on debt enforcement, giving retailers and landlords more time to negotiate, and extending rates relief for the worst affected businesses into next year. Without this, parts of the industry face the stark reality of being unable to pay their bills, resulting in further job losses and store closures, and setting back any wider economic recovery.”

In Northern Ireland, Finance Minister Conor Murphy announced a £300 million support package, including a new High Street Voucher Scheme to encourage consumers to return to high street stores.

For high street mobility retailers in Northern Ireland that have struggled during the coronavirus crisis, this new voucher scheme might encourage shoppers to return to the high street and purchase essential mobility and independent living aids.

THIIS ROUND-UP
Join the 2,500+ mobility professionals who stay informed with THIIS' twice-weekly industry updates.
We respect your privacy
https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/shoppers-on-busy-street-in-the-UK.jpg?fit=900%2C598&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/shoppers-on-busy-street-in-the-UK.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Sarah SarsbyNewsroomRetailer NewsTrade NewsBRC,british retail consortium,high street retailers,mobility retailers,retail parks,shopping centres,UK footfall,UK footfall statisticsNew data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) shows a steep decline in UK footfall across various retail locations after a second national lockdown saw customers turn to online shopping due to the mass closure of stores. UK Footfall fell by roughly two-thirds in November 2020 compared to the previous...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals