Footfall Continues Slow Path to Recovery
Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium:
“July was the first full month in which shops were allowed to open in all parts of the UK. While retailers will welcome the improvement in footfall across all shopping destinations, it remains well down on pre-coronavirus levels. The reopening of pubs, cafes and restaurants has also provided some additional footfall to many high streets, including a small boost to local retailers. It remains too soon to say how well retail will recover in the coming months, but it clearly remains a difficult trading period for many physical retailers.
“With retail footfall recovering slower than in many other European countries, much will depend how fast consumer demand returns. Retailers have put in place a variety of measures to keep shoppers and staff safe, from regular cleaning and hand sanitiser, to one-way systems and perspex screens at tills. We now need Government to play their part by providing clear plans for schools, transport, and office working, all of which impact the way we shop. The safety of the public is a top priority and we believe clear communication will help build public confidence and help bolster local high streets and shopping centres during the summer months."
Andy Sumpter | Retail Consultant – EMEA, ShopperTrak:
“July saw a number of lockdown measures rescinded, and retailers will now look and hope for a return to some form of normality. As well as more retailers re-opening in Scotland at the end of June, there was the introduction of mandated face coverings in stores, where adoption and compliance seem to have been good generally. The first full week with face coverings did not deliver any significant uptick in footfall over the prior week, however, it is likely that the good weather was a more significant factor.
“As footfall across parts of Europe has faltered recently, retailers will be hoping that the UK’s slow-and-steady recovery will continue. Furthermore, data from the US has shown that states that mandated face coverings first benefited from improved footfall recoveries, so we’ll be looking for the same here too in the coming weeks.”