Retail footfall is a third below pre-Covid levels despite store reopening Business News

Visits to UK stores increased significantly in April with the lifting of restrictions on coronaviruses, but remained well below levels seen before the pandemic, new data shows.

Retail footfall in April was 240.8% higher than in the same month last year, when the country was completely locked down, according to research firm Springboard. However, the new figure was still almost a third (32.7%) below April 2019 levels.

A slow start to April 2021 improved for retailers once non-essential stores and outdoor hospitality areas were allowed to open, Springboard found. The company expects a further upturn from mid-May, when indoor socialization is permitted.

In the first week of April, main streets across the UK reported a 65.1% drop in attendance compared to the same period in 2019, which returned to a 32.3% drop for second, third and fourth weeks.

Overall, the drop in high street attendance was 41.5% in April compared to 2019, but business parks were found to be more resilient, resulting in only a 7.4% drop in traffic. visits.

Springboard Marketing and Analytics Director Diane Wehrle said: “This month’s results reflect our expectations for a substantial increase in footfall after retail reopening and demonstrate strong pent-up consumer demand for physical stores. .

“This pent-up demand is also reflected in the UK store vacancy rate which increased in April from 11.7% to 11.5% in January.

“At least part of this is probably due to the growing emergence of pop-up stores and the trend for digital brands to bring their brands to life through physical space.

“With the opening of Inner Hospitality looming in the next two weeks, we expect the gap between the level of attendance in 2019 and 2021 to narrow further, although the extent to which this occurs will depend on the measurement. in which there will be is a return to office work, the growth of domestic and overseas tourism to the UK and the employment impact of the end of the leave program in September. “

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This notice was published: 2021-05-06 07:35:18