Shops bounce back in August despite effect of the riots

 
Tim Wallace
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SHOPS across London have bounced back despite last month’s riots, according to a survey released today.

While footfall across the UK fell by 1.5 per cent in August, this was the most modest year on year decline for the month since August 2007.

And London’s consumers defied the riots, with footfall in the capital increasing by 0.9 per cent compared with August 2010.

Surprisingly, areas worst affected by the riots like Croydon saw enormous growth of 14.9 per cent, according to the Springboard’s high street index. Ealing, also hit by riots, saw footfall spike by 9.3 per cent.

The riots had only a short term impact, according to Springboard. London saw a decline in footfall of 6.2 per cent on the weekend of 6 August, when riots started in Tottenham, and 1.7 per cent over the following week. By the next weekend, though, annual footfall was up four per cent.

Nationally, the picture is more varied. Shops in riot-hit Nottingham experienced a 7.9 per cent increase in footfall, whilst it fell by 24.8 per cent in similarly disrupted Birmingham.

Diane Wehrle, research director at Springboard, said: “The figures showed an initial dip as the riots struck in Greater London, but what’s really positive is that by the following weekend, shoppers were back out in force – even more so than during the same weekend in 2010.”

“The riots have affected a number of individual businesses.” said Springboard CEO Steve Booth, “ yet there appears to have been little impact on overall performance.”