Friday 7 August 2020 12:01 am

UK retail footfall continues slow recovery in July

UK retail footfall continued to improve in July as shoppers tentatively returned to the high street following the coronavirus lockdown.

Footfall was down 42 per cent in July, an improvement on the 62.6 per cent decline recorded in the previous month. 

Read more: WH Smith to cut 1,500 jobs as high street and travel footfall plummets

High street footfall decreased 47.5 per cent, also up on the 64.5 per cent tumble recorded in June. 

However the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the reopening of pubs and restaurants on 4 July did not have a “significant impact” on retail footfall during the month.

Retail parks continued to be the best performing destination, as the higher proportion of supermarkets and large stores sheltered them from a steep decline. 

Visitor numbers were down 22.4 per cent year on year, compared to a 33.8 per cent drop in June. 

Shopping centres, where UK retail footfall fell by 48.1 per cent, were the worst affected location as enclosed spaces made social distancing more of a challenge. 

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “With retail footfall recovering slower than in many other European countries, much will depend how fast consumer demand returns. 

“Retailers have put in place a variety of measures to keep shoppers and staff safe, from regular cleaning and hand sanitiser, to one-way systems and perspex screens at tills.

Read more: Retail footfall dips as face coverings become mandatory in English stores

“We now need government to play their part by providing clear plans for schools, transport, and office working, all of which impact the way we shop. 

“The safety of the public is a top priority and we believe clear communication will help build public confidence and help bolster local high streets and shopping centres during the summer months.”