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Store openings in England: high street footfall almost 40% lower

WomanstreetHigh street retail footfall was almost 40% lower for stores in England that opened on Monday, with overall footfall down almost-two thirds.

According to Ipsos Retail Performance, which uses the footfall at more than 4,000 non-food stores across the country to create its Retail Traffic Index, footfall was down 38.4% year-on-year on a comparative basis for stores that were open.

It estimates over 60% of stores in England re-opened on Monday.

London was the worst hit, with footfall falling 46.6% compared to last year.

‘It was encouraging to see many retailers open their doors to customers on Monday for the first time since March, and while many city centres and high streets may have been busy in comparison to recent weeks, footfall was still much lower than last year. In overall volume terms it was down 62.7%,’ says Tim Denison, Ipsos Retail Performance director of retail intelligence.

‘London was the worst affected region of England. The dependence on public transport by shoppers to get to the shops, especially in very central areas, clearly had a detrimental impact on footfall compared to other areas of the country.

‘The headlines were dominated by the long queues for Primark snaking through city centres, a retailer whose consumers have not been able to buy online in recent months. However, the reason for queuing in the first place was not the volume of shoppers per se, but the restrictions in terms of the safe shopping occupancy thresholds being deployed by the retailers.

‘We estimate that over 60% of stores took the opportunity to open, which was more than we were expecting, but is understandable given that the guidelines that are available from the BRC and the Government. There were also many good practises implemented and lessons learnt from the grocers, whose stores have been open throughout lockdown and whose teams quickly implemented social distancing measures to good effect.’