Monday 5 October 2020 12:09 pm

Wet weather and 10pm curfew dampens high street footfall recovery

Retail footfall dropped for the second week in a row as the pub and restaurant curfew and wet weather brought further gloom for the embattled UK high street. 

Footfall across all retail destinations declined 3.5 per cent last week compared the previous week, dragged down by a 7.1 per cent slump in high street shopper numbers.

Retail footfall plunged 8.4 per cent between 7pm and 11pm and 14.8 per cent between 11pm and 7am due to the impact of the 10pm curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants. 

High streets were the worst affected by the impact of the curfew, due to the concentration of hospitality venues, and footfall after 11pm was down 24.4 per cent on the previous week. 

All of the decline occurred in the second half of the week due to the torrential rain that hit the UK from Wednesday onwards, according to the latest footfall research from retail data firm Springboard.

Footfall jumped slightly between Sunday and Tuesday but fell each day between Wednesday and Saturday, averaging a drop of 7.1 per cent. 

Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said: “For the second consecutive week, and only the third week since the beginning of May, footfall across retail destinations declined last week from the week before.  

“Part of the cause of the decline, particularly in high streets, was the rainy weather during the second half of the week that led to a double digit drop in footfall on both Friday and Saturday.

“However, the 10pm curfew is clearly having an impact; whilst shopping centres and retail parks with only minimal evening economy activity are holding their own, high streets – where the majority of evening economy activity occurs – are feeling the effect, with a drop in footfall post 7pm that is twice as great as that during working hours, and four times as great post 11pm.”