Shoppers Refrain From Benefitting From Christmas Sales In UK With Drop In Footfall Amid Covid Fears

In the wake of ongoing Covid-19 worries, the number of consumers wanting to take advantage of post-Christmas deals on Monday plummeted by 32 per cent compared to 2019.

Footfall estimates were better than Boxing Day, according to retail analyst Springboard.

However, famous retail centers such as central London reported a dip, owing in part to rail service disruptions.

On Monday, shoppers preferred to shop at retail parks, but foot traffic was still down 7.2 percent from pre-pandemic levels.

This contrasted with a dramatic loss in footfall on High Streets, which fell 40.1 percent in 2019, and shopping malls, which fell 38.8 per cent.

“The greater attraction of retail parks is in part likely to be a result of shoppers restocking groceries following the weekend’s festivities,” said Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard.

It’s a reverse of the trend witnessed on Boxing Day, when shoppers flocked to High Streets rather than shopping malls. Overall, Boxing Day footfall was significantly lower than pre-Covid levels.

Springboard reported a 37.7% decline in footfall on Boxing Day in the UK compared to the previous year. Footfall fell by 40.2 per cent in retail parks, while it fell by 48.4 percent in shopping malls.

Footfall on Boxing Day was down, according to Springboard, due to concerns about Covid, as well as the fact that the customary start of post-Christmas sales happened on a Sunday this year, and some big-name retailers chose to stay closed.

Companies such as Next, John Lewis, and M&S chose to close on Boxing Day in order to offer their employees a longer Christmas holiday, however, they did start their sales online.

Footfall plummeted across the UK on Monday, with the biggest decline in Wales, where it fell by 40.3 per cent.

On December 26, Wales tightened Covid rules, restricting the number of individuals who can meet in bars, theatres, and restaurants to no more than six people.

Similar rules went into effect in Scotland and Northern Ireland on Monday. Footfall at retailers in Scotland declined by 33.3 per cent, while it plummeted by 36.6 per cent in Northern Ireland.

According to Springboard, overall shopping figures in England have decreased by 31.1 per cent. Footfall in London fell by 50 pr cent compared to the same day last year, a far steeper reduction than in other parts of the UK.

Wehrle said: “Footfall is weaker in central London than in large city centers elsewhere in the UK, which in part is likely to be a result of cancellations of trains restricting shoppers’ ability to get into the capital.”

However according to Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of the West End Company, which represents shops, hotels, and restaurants in central London, said: “We are still dealing with Covid and we haven’t got international tourists here so it is going to be muted for some time [for] customers coming into the West End.”

(Adapted from BBC.com)



Categories: Creativity, Economy & Finance, Regulations & Legal, Sustainability, Uncategorized

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