Footfall decreased by 62.6% in June as non-essential stores were allowed to reopen from June 15th. The BRC reported that this was a 19 percentage point improvement compared to the previous month of May.
The high street saw a 64.5% fall in footfall year on year and retail parks saw footfall decrease by 33.8% year on year. While shopping centre footfall dropped by 68.3% year on year and were hit the hardest due to enclosed spaces making social distancing more of a challenge.
“An interesting look at the early weeks of non-essential store re-openings. The numbers are unsurprising, with footfall still down year-on-year 53.3% even with non-essential stores open. As we highlighted within Mintel’s The Impact of COVID-19 on Retail and E-commerce – UK, June 2020 even with non-essential stores open footfall will continue to be significantly impacted due to high levels of concern around the virus and being within crowded space. This is a slower return to footfall as we have seen in other markets, but equally at the point the data covers the pub, bar and foodservice sector was still closed and we would expect the July numbers to have seen a significant boost with these sectors reopening.
It is also notable that as expected retail parks are faring much better, with footfall down only by a third (33.8%) during the period. The larger spaces and more convenient room for parking clearly makes operating in this ‘next-normal’ easier and we expect this to be a trend which carries into the second half. Footfall remains significantly down in shopping centres (-68.3% across the month) and whilst the BRC notes some improvement with non-essential stores opening, the enclosed nature of centres provides significant challenges moving forward. Again foodservice and leisure re-openings will help but more than any other location, footfall within shopping centres is tied to concerns around the virus, and Mintel’s latest COVID-19 tracker data shows concern remains high.”