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UK retail footfall improves in March ahead of all shops reopening

Thu, 8th Apr 2021 05:02

(Alliance News) - The decline in UK retail footfall eased in March, data from an industry body showed on Thursday, as the sector begins to lap easier comparatives roughly one year following the first nationwide lockdown to combat coronavirus.

According to the latest Springboard monitor, footfall in UK retail destinations was down 28% yearly in March, improved from February's 61% plunge. Springboard noted the anniversary of the first lockdown came during the penultimate week of March.

England is currently in its third national lockdown, though retail destinations can lift shutters once again on Monday next week.

"Pent up demand from shoppers for bricks and mortar stores was ever more evident in the results for March 2021, with footfall strengthening over the month in all three destination types," Springboard said.

On high streets, the annual decline was 66% in the first week of March, but then improved to 58% down by the end of the month. Footfall in shopping centres had a similar direction of travel, with the decline easing from 69% to 63%. In retail parks, the decline was 30% in the first week, but this halved to 15% by the final week.

"This further supports Springboard's forecast for a significant uplift in footfall when non-essential retail opens on April 12, anticipated to be around 48% in the first week from the week before followed by a further rise of 10% in the second week," it said.

Retail parks fared better than counterparts given food stores, DIY chains and garden centres have been allowed to remain open.

By Eric Cunha; ericcunha@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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