Footfall down 'significantly', says new BRC report

05 Mar 2021

Footfall was down almost 75% compared to Februrary 2020, according to a new report by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The BRC has published its sENSORMATIC IQ Footfall Monitor for February 2021.

 Key findings include:

  • Year on year UK Footfall decreased by 73.5% in February,  with only a 3.4 percentage point improvement from January. Following January, this is the second largest drop in UK footfall since May 2020 (-81.6%).
  • Footfall on High Streets declined by 68.3% year on year. Following January, this was the deepest decline since May 2020 (-77.8%) and worse than both the 3- and 12-month average declines of 60.6% and 55.7%, respectively.
  • Retail Parks saw footfall decrease by 34.5% year on year. Following January, this was the deepest decline since May 2020 (-55.0%) and worse than both the 3- and 12-month average declines of 29.0% and 28.7%, respectively.
  • Shopping Centre footfall declined by 75.7% year on year. Similar to High Streets and Retail Parks, excluding January, this was the deepest decline since May 2020 (-84.9%). This is below the 3- and 12-month average declines of 63.7% and 57.7%, respectively.

Helen Dickinson OBE, BRC Chief Executive, said: “Footfall remained down by three quarters during the second full month of lockdown. Shopping centres continued to suffer the most due to their high proportion of “non-essential” retailing, whereas retail parks benefitted from the presence of large essential retailers such as supermarkets and health stores. While footfall improved slightly due to slowing Covid infections boosting consumer confidence, it will be a difficult time for retail until businesses are permitted to reopen in April.

“Retailers welcomed the Chancellor’s extension of key business funding schemes in Wednesday’s Budget. Nonetheless, the real challenge will arise in April, as tens of thousands of “non-essential” retailers hold their breath to see if demand returns to stores. Despite the support offered by the Chancellor, the retail industry is not out of the woods yet. In order to support a much needed recovery in the industry and the three million jobs it supports, the Government must ensure the UK’s state aid rules allow businesses to fully access the grants and loans that have been announced."

Download the full report here

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