Retail footfall in central London plummeted last week as employees started working from home and shops start to close amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Footfall in the capital plunged 63.3 per cent last week, as office workers were advised to stay home. In shopping areas on the outskirts of London footfall was down 21.9 per cent.
Across the UK footfall was down 21.7 per cent compared to the previous week as the public followed government advice to avoid going out.
High street footfall was down 31 per cent on the week before and 41 per cent down year on year, as stores such as John Lewis and Topshop began to close, according to research by Springboard.
However, retail park footfall only dropped 2.9 per cent, both on a weekly and annual basis, as customers flocked to supermarkets in order to stockpile.
The drop is expected to continue as more high street stores make the decision to close. Debenhams and Next announced today that they will temporarily close all their UK stores.
Meanwhile the government is reportedly preparing to force all non-essential retail stores to close. Boris Johnson is expected to make the order, which would allow supermarkets and pharmacies to remain open, at the daily coronavirus press conference this evening.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “The decline in footfall week on week was on par with the drop normally only ever seen in the week post-Christmas.
“The annual change represented an unprecedented decline in retail footfall that was three times greater than the worst result we have ever previously recorded.”