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UK retail footfall declines at weekend as Covid fears empty cities

Mon, 20th Dec 2021 14:27

(Alliance News) - Footfall at retail outlets in the UK fell by 2.6% this past weekend from the weekend before, according to figures from Springboard on Monday, as government warnings about the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 dissuaded shoppers.

Overall, footfall in the week that began on Sunday, December 12 rose by 5.5% from the week before, but the period ended badly for shop keepers. Footfall rose by 0.8% on Saturday but fell by 1.4% this past Sunday, making for a poor last weekend before Christmas.

City centres were the worst hit by virus fears. Footfall was down by 8.5% in central London and by 6.5% in UK cities outside of the capital over the past weekend from the weekend before.

Over footfall in the past week was up 23% from the lockdown level of last year but down 19% from 2019.

"Despite the introduction of Plan B guidance to work from home and the significant rise in Covid infections, footfall rose last week across UK retail destinations. However, the growing nervousness of consumers meant that increases dwindled with each day that passed, and by Friday the uplift in footfall was around just a quarter of that on Wednesday," explained Diane Wehrle, Insights director at Springboard.

By Tom Waite; thomaslwaite@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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