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Heavy storms keep UK shoppers away from high street

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

21 Feb 2022

Retail

Image: Storm via Pexels

High winds and heavy rain from storms Eunice and Dudley affected footfall across the UK, which fell -3.8 percent compared to the week before.

Between Sunday and Thursday footfall rose by an average of 5.5 percent, fuelled by the half-term break, with a huge uplift of 18.1 percent on Monday, said retail experts Springboard. With the arrival of storm Eunice, Friday footfall dropped -32 percent and then -12.6 percent on Saturday.

The high streets faired the worse, which saw drops of -36.6 percent on Friday and -17.9 percent on Saturday.

The distortion created by the weather meant that the result between Sunday and Thursday was wholly different from Friday and Saturday; over the five days from Sunday, which saw increases in shoppers on the high street, in retail parks and shopping centres.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, commented: “Unsurprisingly, footfall across UK retail destinations last week was majorly affected by the severe storms, which negated the positive impact of the start of the February school half-term break. Storm Eunice landed on Friday and led to significant declines in footfall on both Friday and Saturday. Prior to that Storm Dudley had hit UK shores on Wednesday, but in overall terms this had a more minor impact on footfall. Inevitably high streets felt the greatest effects of the weather, with a slightly stronger result in shopping centres - the vast majority of which offer shelter from the elements - and in retail parks which are easy to access by car."