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UK footfall plummets as Tier 4 restrictions introduced in London

By Huw Hughes

22 Dec 2020

Footfall in the UK was rising last week before plummeting following the introduction of new, stricter restrictions on Sunday, according to the latest data from retail experts Springboard.

Footfall across all retail destinations increased by 2.3 percent last week - 6.2 percent in shopping centres, 4.9 percent in retail parks. Footfall in high streets dropped marginally by -0.8 percent.

Inevitably though, that progress was stunted on Sunday when new, stricter Tier 4 restrictions were introduced in London and the South East following a surge of what is thought to be a more transmissible strain of coronavirus.

Footfall on Sunday plummeted by 39.9 percent from the previous Sunday across all retail destinations. Of the three destination types, the largest drop from the previous Sunday occurred in shopping centres where footfall declined yesterday by 55.5 percent. In high streets, it declined by 39.1 percent and in retail parks by 25 percent.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said in a statement: “The government’s shock announcement on Saturday afternoon with the introduction of Tier 4 has led to drastic changes in retail footfall across the UK. The closure of non-essential retail in Tier 4 during what is usually the last, and busiest, week of Christmas trading will have a hugely detrimental impact on retailers who have already had a difficult year.

“Store vacancies have risen in each quarter this year, and we anticipate that they will rise further in 2021 as some businesses will be forced to cease trading.”

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