The end of England’s lockdown has not led to a full recovery in footfall at UK shopping destinations, new figures suggest.
Shopping visits from Wednesday to Saturday were down 31.2% when compared with the same period last year, according to data from Springboard.
A daily breakdown showed a slightly busier picture by the weekend, but Saturday’s footfall was still off by 27.3% year on year.
The picture varied for different types of shopping destinations.
Shopping centres and high streets remained 32.4% and 42.8% quieter than a year ago.
But retail parks – which often include food stores and garden centres that have been allowed to trade right through the lockdown – saw footfall recover to 4.8% below 2019 levels.
On Saturday alone, shopping visits at retail parks were just 1.3% below the levels seen in 2019 – and in England, the gap was only 0.5%.
The figures come after concerns emerged over the weekend about big crowds gathering in some shopping locations.
On Sunday, a Christmas market in Nottingham was shut down for the rest of the year after criticism over a lack of social distancing.
Also over the weekend, large crowds gathered outside Harrods in London’s West End.
The scenes prompted a warning from London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Speaking on Sky’s Ian King Live, Mr Khan said: “Please return to our shops but return safely. It’s really important we don’t inadvertently act in a way that leads to a surge in this virus.
“If London was to go into Tier 3, it would be catastrophic to those industries already really, really crippled under the COVID pandemic.”
Source: Read Full Article