Footfall sees marginal recovery in May as restrictions ease

Springboard reports the beginning of a long road to recovery

For the four weeks covering 3 May-30 May, footfall plummeted -73.3 per cent year on year as the lockdown continued, but has improved marginally since April which was at a low of –80.1 per cent, according to retail footfall analysts Springboard

Retail parks fared best, with a -68.1 per cent drop in footfall, supported by the presence of essential food stores and home stores which opened mid month. Footfall in high streets declined by -78.2 per cent and by -80.5 per cent in shopping centres.

Smaller high streets have proven the most resilient as consumers followed lockdown guidelines, with footfall in regional cities declining by -88.8 per cent in May compared with -41.4 per cent across the smallest high streets.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director commented: “The subject on everyone’s lips is what will the likely success be of the reopening of non-essential retail on 15th June. The limited evidence so far has suggested that despite the growth in online shopping over the past two months, there is a huge amount of pent up demand amongst consumers for bricks and mortar shopping.

“The key trend to be watched over the period of retail reopening in June, and over subsequent months, will be whether this signals the beginning of a new era for local high streets. Certainly, what is likely is that those destinations and retailers that are best able to manage customer numbers to ensure social distancing will be the most in demand by consumers as safety during shopping is paramount.”

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