UK footfall suffered a “record decline” in March as a reslt of the mandatory lockdown, the new BRC-ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor has shown.
Footfall decreased by 44.7% in March year on year following the closure of non-essential stores by the government.
In the three weeks before lockdown was ordered on 23 March, UK footfall the average decline was 17.7% year on year. However, in the subsequent two weeks, footfall was down an average of 83.2% year on year.
The decline was steepest in shopping centres, at 43.6%, and high streets, down 41.8%. Retail parks, which have more open spaces and a higher proportion of supermarkets, were less badly hit by a 23.5% fall.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Footfall dropped in early March, as many people chose to stay at home and reduce the risk of catching coronavirus.
This downwards trajectory was accelerated by the government’s decision to put the UK on lockdown, with footfall dropping by over 80% on the previous year in the weeks following these measures. High streets and shopping centres saw the biggest declines as most shops closed their doors, but retail parks also saw reduced falls due to the presence of many essential retailers remaining open for business.
“Retail is facing an unprecedented challenge, particularly those geared towards high street sales. Government schemes, including loans, furlough payments, and business rates respite, have been welcomed by the industry as an essential lifeline. However, many jobs and businesses depend on this backing, and government must remain flexible in its support over the coming weeks, with footfall expected to fall even further.”