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Rail strikes knock UK retail footfall recovery

By Huw Hughes

28 Jun 2022


Image: London's Regent Street via Pexels

Retail footfall in the UK took a hit last week from rail strikes, new data shows.

UK footfall dropped 3.9 percent over the week compared with the average of the previous four weeks, according to BRC-Sensormatic IQ data.

High Streets were the worst performing category, with a 3.3 percent drop in footfall, while shopping centres were down 2.2 percent. On a brighter note, footfall at retail parks jumped 30.3 percent.

Footfall in London dropped 1.4 percent over the week, and was down 7.4 percent on Tuesday as it was impacted by both rail and tube strikes.

Rail workers held strikes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of last week over salaries and working conditions.

“After the buoyant boost to shopper numbers we saw over the Jubilee weekend, last week’s train strikes threaten to derail retail’s footfall recovery,” Andy Sumpter, retail consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, said in a statement.

He continued: “While consumers stayed home and avoided unnecessary trips due to travel disruption, retailers will be hoping that the dip in footfall will be short-lived and that shopper numbers even themselves out, as pent-up demand prompts consumers back on to the High Street once the strike ends.”