Footfall remains low as lockdown wears on
Covering the four weeks 31 January 2021 – 27 February 2021
ShopperTrak is now part of Sensormatic Solutions, Sensormatic IQ is its new intelligent operating platform, which unifies diverse data and insights to drive improved shopper experiences and retail outcomes. The Footfall monitor name has changed accordingly.
According to BRC-Sensormatic IQ data:
- With the UK still in lockdown, year on year UK Footfall decreased by 73.5% in February, with only a 3.4 percentage point improvement from January. Following January, this is the second largest drop in the UK footfall since May 2020 (-81.6%).
- Footfall on High Streets declined by 68.3% year on year. Following January, this was the deepest decline since May 2020 (-77.8%) and worse than both the 3- and 12-month average declines of 60.6% and 55.7%, respectively.
- Retail Parks saw footfall decrease by 34.5% year on year. Following January, this was the deepest decline since May 2020 (-55.0%) and worse than both the 3- and 12-month average declines of 29.0% and 28.7%, respectively.
- Shopping Centre footfall declined by 75.7% year on year. Similar to High Streets and Retail Parks, excluding January, this was the deepest decline since May 2020 (-84.9%). This is below the 3- and 12-month average declines of 63.7% and 57.7%, respectively.
- For the sixth consecutive month, Northern Ireland saw the shallowest footfall decline of all regions at -65.6%, followed by Scotland at -69.2%. Wales saw the deepest decline at -75.4%.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of British Retail Consortium, said: “Footfall remained down by three quarters during the second full month of lockdown. Shopping centres continued to suffer the most due to their high proportion of “non-essential” retailing, whereas retail parks benefitted from the presence of large essential retailers such as supermarkets and health stores. While footfall improved slightly due to slowing Covid infections boosting consumer confidence, it will be a difficult time for retail until businesses are permitted to reopen in April.
“Retailers welcomed the Chancellor’s extension of key business funding schemes in Wednesday’s Budget. Nonetheless, the real challenge will arise in April, as tens of thousands of “non-essential” retailers hold their breath to see if demand returns to stores. Despite the support offered by the Chancellor, the retail industry is not out of the woods yet. In order to support a much needed recovery in the industry and the three million jobs it supports, the Government must ensure the UK’s state aid rules allow businesses to fully access the grants and loans that have been announced.”
Andy Sumpter, retail consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, commented: “With lockdown fatigue looming large, February saw another month of limited footfall on the High Street, as non-essential retail remained closed and stores shuttered. February did see a small lift in shopper counts compared to January, perhaps due to the ongoing success of the vaccine roll-out and the roadmap for unlocking announced earlier in the month giving consumer confidence a boost.
However, while there is light at the end of tunnel, the outlook between now and 12 April, when non-essential retail can reopen, remains bleak. Many retailers will be holding out hope that, once again, consumers will return when they reopen and that pent-up demand for real life retail experiences will sustain the High Street’s recovery.”
TOTAL FOOTFALL BY REGION
|GROWTH RANK||REGION||% GROWTH YOY|
|3||East of England||-70.10%|
|4||South East England||-72.10%|
|5||South West England||-72.10%|
|8||North West England||-73.80%|
|9||Yorkshire and the Humber||-74.00%|
|11||North East England||-75.00%|
TOTAL FOOTFALL BY CITY
|GROWTH RANK||CITY||% GROWTH YOY|