UK shoppers shirked the high street in the week following Christmas as concerns about the rapid spread of omicron continued to bite.
Footfall across all British retail destinations fell 15 per cent in the week ending on New Year’s Eve compared to the previous week according to data compiled by analysts at Springboard. The biggest drop in footfall was seen in shopping centres the tracking data revealed as Brits avoided crowded destinations in the wake of Christmas.
Ahead of the big day the festive trading period this year was already far more muted than forecast. An average week on week increase of 1.8 per cent was seen across the UK between the week beginning 21st November until the final week before Christmas, missing Springboard’s expectations of 5.8 per cent.
There were, however, 5.2 per cent more shoppers on the high street on New Year’s Eve than on Christmas Eve, a reversal of the situation compared to last year Springboard data further revealed.
News that shoppers have been shying away from the post-Christmas sales comes as the government mulls the introduction of new restrictions to curb the spread of Omicron.
Boris Johnson today said that the pressure on the NHS will be “considerable” in the next few weeks as “Omicron continues to surge throughout the country.”
While Johnson said the government will keep new measures under constant review for now Plan B guidance remains in place.