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UK footfall plummeted 43 percent in 2020

By Huw Hughes

8 Jan 2021

Total year-on-year footfall in the UK plummeted by 43.4 percent in 2020 due to lockdowns enforced to slow the spread of Covid-19.

In the important “Golden quarter”, from October and December, footfall fell by almost half (48.4 percent) compared to the same period in 2019, according to the BRC-Shoppertrak footfall monitor.

In December, footfall decreased by 46.1, a 19.3 percentage point improvement from November when England was under lockdown.

High streets were hit the hardest in December, down 49.5 percent year-on-year, followed by shopping centres (47.3 percent) and retail parks (17.3 percent).

Northern Ireland saw the shallowest footfall decline of all regions over the month at 47.2 percent, followed by Scotland and Wales with declines of 50.2 percent and 52.3, respectively.

Helen Dickinson, the CEO of British Retail Consortium, urged the government to offer an extension of the coronavirus business rates relief to hard-hit retailers.

“Now that all parts of the UK are effectively in lockdown and with social distancing measures expected to continue well into the New Year, ‘non-essential’ stores will be unable to trade their way back to recovery,” she said.

“A third lockdown will be one too many for some businesses. Rent bills continue to weigh heavily and the threat of a return to full business rates liability in April still looms. The Government must urgently reassure those businesses hardest hit by the pandemic that they will receive vital financial support in the form of an extension to the coronavirus business rates relief.”

Photo credit: FashionUnited