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UK footfall suffers, but Lockdown Fatigue shows pent up demand amongst shoppers to visit stores

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

4 Dec 2020

New figures from Springboard show footfall dramatically dropped in November by -51.2 percent, compared with -31.5 percernt in October and -28.2 percent in September. Footfall declined by -58.7 percent in high streets, -58.8 percent in shopping centres and -26.9 percent in retail parks.

The decline in footfall in November was less severe than in April/May when it averaged -76.7 percent.

The more modest decline in footfall during Lockdown 2 versus Lockdown 1 suggests a degree of “Lockdown Fatigue” amongst consumers who continue to make trips to retail destinations despite the ongoing closure of hospitality.

Lockdown fatique

Lockdown Fatigue indicates a pent up demand amongst shoppers for visits to bricks and mortar stores – reflected in an increase in footfall on Black Friday of +8.7 percent from the previous Friday

The bounce back in footfall following the reopening of non-essential stores in England on 2nd December could reduce the decline in footfall to around a half of its current level of “lockdown fatigue” amongst consumers who continue to make trips to retail destinations despite the ongoing closure of hospitality.
On a positive note, this fatigue - which may well be a consequence of the season, with consumers increasingly keen to make trips out to enjoy the run up to Christmas - indicates a pent up demand amongst shoppers for visits to bricks and mortar stores. This is probably best illustrated by the fact that on Black Friday – the day even under normal trading conditions when online sales dominate footfall rose by 8.7% from the previous Friday.

Diane Wehrle, Marketing & Insights Director at Springboard said in a statement: “Whilst destinations and stores will need to woo shoppers back with the prospect of a safe shopping experience, we are anticipating a sudden and pronounced bounce back in footfall following the reopening of non-essential stores in England this week. Indeed, this bounce back could reduce the decline in footfall to around a half of its current level, which would be welcome news for retailers who have just three weeks in which to recover nine weeks of sales lost during the most critical trading period of the year.”

Image via Pexels