UK footfall hit by coronavirus

UK retail footfall suffered a 12.7 percent year-on-year decrease on Friday as concerns over coronavirus continue to mount, according to Ipsos Retail Performance. The day also marked the first time cases of Covid-19 exceeded 100 in the UK.

The first weekend of the month - Sunday 1 March - did see a slight increase of 0.2 percent year-on-year, which Ipsos said could be a result of consumers hitting the shops to stockpile.

Dr. Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance, said in a statement: “It isn’t a surprise that footfall has taken a big hit since the outbreak of Coronavirus really ramped up a notch last week.

“Shoppers will likely be wary of stepping into stores knowing that they might be exposed to a harmful virus – a sharp decline of -12.7 percent year-on-year shows how habits are shifting. We are almost at the same level of decline in footfall from the outbreak that we saw last month when the storms caused such disruption.”

Denison said shoppers should continue to practice “vigilant” personal hygiene as recommended by the NHS and refrain from “panic buying” which can put unnecessary strain on retailers.

He added: “It will be interesting to see how the retail landscape progresses as the pandemic continues, and we can hope for the retailer’s sake that the future starts to look brighter very quickly.”

Click here for more updates on how the coronavirus is impacting the international fashion industry

Photo credit: Pexels, Artem Bali


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