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Shops in England suffer 45% DROP in footfall on first day

Fears for the future of England’s high streets intensified today as bargain hunters branded Britain’s high streets ‘really quiet’ with footfall 55 per cent lower than this day last year.

Shoppers stayed home as non-essential stories opened their doors for the second day with no huge rush to the likes of Sports Direct and Primark – unlike the huge crowds witnessed yesterday – despite the sunny 78F (26C) conditions continuing.

The footfall for UK high streets up until 2pm today was down by 55.3 per cent compared to the same day one year ago, while the figure for retail parks fell 23.6 per cent and shopping centres was down 53.2 per cent.

However there was a week-on-week rise for the UK of 33.6 per cent on high streets, while footfall on retail parks was up 15.2 per cent and shopping centres increased by 23.4 per cent.  

Shoppers in Manchester told MailOnline how they were expecting busy scenes similar to those on Boxing Day, with one saying:  We thought it was going to be rammed and huge queues but it’s been really quiet.’

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, believes that even as more stores reopen ‘consumers have formed new habits that will see the online channel continue to be more prominent going forward.’ 

Data from analysts Springboard up until 5pm yesterday showed footfall in retail parks with high street retailers in England was up 33.4 per cent yesterday compared to the week before. In shopping centres it rose 34.1 per cent.

This meant the overall rise in footfall at all retail destinations in England was up 38.8 per cent on the week before. But that same footfall figure was down 35.9 per cent year-on-year, while on high streets it was down 45.3 per cent.

WEEK ON WEEK % CHANGE IN FOOTFALL – TUESDAY JUNE 16 2020 – UP TO 2pm 
SHOPPING TYPE UK ENGLAND NORTHERN IRELAND SCOTLAND WALES
UK High Streets 33.60% 35.40% -0.10% 3.70% 45.70%
UK Retail Parks 15.20% 19.40% 4.00% -0.80% 7.10%
UK Shopping Centres 23.40% 27.30% 3.20% -3.50% 20.60%
UK Retail Destinations 26.70% 29.60% 1.70% 0.80% 39.40%
YEAR ON YEAR % CHANGE IN FOOTFALL – TUESDAY JUNE 16 2020 – UP TO 2pm 
SHOPPING UK England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland
UK High Streets -55.30% -53.70% -69.10% -77.10% -55.40%
UK Retail Parks -23.60% -19.10% -46.10% -38.40% -2.80%
UK Shopping Centres -53.20% -50.90% -69.00% -73.90% -36.80%
UK Retail Destinations -47.30% -44.80% -63.60% -67.10% -50.80%

A member of staff stands outside the Primark clothing store on Oxford Street in London today, where there was no queue

Tracey Crosby, 52, pictured with her daughters Amelia, 15, and Lydia, 17, in Manchester today

Nicola Wise, 44, and her daughter in Manchester

Tracey Cosby (left) , 52, a secretary who went shopping with her daughters Lydia, 17 and Amelia, 15, in Manchester today, said: ‘There’s a one way system in the Arndale. We got told off for going the wrong way but it wasn’t very clear. There were also people cleaning the escalator handles.’ Nicola Wise (right, with her daughter), 44, a legal executive, said: ‘I’m not concerned about coronavirus when I’m going out anymore. I thought it was going to be an absolute nightmare with the queues but it’s been really quiet and there aren’t many people about’

Shoppers walk past recently re-opened shops at Gunwharf Keys shopping centre in Portsmouth today

Shoppers walk past recently re-opened shops at Gunwharf Keys shopping centre in Portsmouth today

A store assistant at WJ French & Son in Southampton tries some shoes on a girl this morning

A store assistant at WJ French & Son in Southampton tries some shoes on a girl this morning

Helen Swindells, 30, and Terry Connolly, 25, who went shopping in Manchester today

Simon Toft, 44, and Andrew Steele, 31, who went shopping in Manchester today

Helen Swindells (left), 30, an administrator who went shopping at H&M and Primark in Manchesterwith food and beverage assistant Terry Connolly (also left), 25, said: ‘We’re pleasantly surprised, we didn’t have to queue for anywhere.’ Simon Toft (right), 44, a police officer, went shopping in Selfridges, Lush, Louis Vuitton and Homesense with Andrew Steele (far right), 31, a recruitment director. Mr Toft said: ‘It’s much easier than I thought it was going to be. ‘We thought it was going to be rammed and huge queues but it’s been really quiet and everyone seems to be adhering to social distancing rules’

Wakefield Trinity shopping centre in West Yorkshire has now reopened to the public, and is pictured this morning

Wakefield Trinity shopping centre in West Yorkshire has now reopened to the public, and is pictured this morning

In Manchester today, shoppers told MailOnline how stores were much quieter than they expected.

Nicola Wise, 44, a legal executive, said: ‘I’m not concerned about coronavirus when I’m going out anymore. I thought it was going to be an absolute nightmare with the queues but it’s been really quiet and there aren’t many people about.

‘I tried a jacket on in Selfridges without thinking and as soon as I put it back it was taken away so I’m assuming it’s going to be put away for a bit. We were going to leave it for a few days because we thought it would be rammed but we haven’t been out in a long time.’

Tracey Cosby, 52, a secretary, went shopping with her daughters Lydia, 17 and Amelia, 15, and said: ‘There’s a one way system in the Arndale. We got told off for going the wrong way but it wasn’t very clear.

‘There were also people cleaning the escalator handles. In Louis Vuitton they were giving out masks and gloves when you walk in the door and when I tried shoes on they were gave me some anti bacterial wipes to wipe them down and there was a bin to throw away the wipes at the door.

‘There’s three of us out shopping and they only let two of us into Louis Vuitton. It’s just nice to be out and about again and I think it’s the right time for shops to open it’s just a shame that the restaurants can’t open.’

Carl Maxwell, 31, and Jack Lewis, 31, in Manchester today

Janine and Iain Smith, 53 and 51, in Manchester today

Carl Maxwell (left), 31, a childcare worker, went shopping in Manchester for clothes with Jack Lewis (right), 31, an entertainer. Mr Maxwell said: ‘It’s a lot better than usual, I’ve never seen Primark so easy to use’.  Pharmacist, Janine, 52, shopping with construction worker husband, Iain Smith (both right), 51, said: ‘We’ve really missed going to the shops.  We always carry masks and gloves when we go out now but I think it’s the right time for the shops to open. It’s been long enough’

Shoppers queue for TK Maxx at the Manchester Fort retail park this morning, one day after non-essential stores reopened

Shoppers queue for TK Maxx at the Manchester Fort retail park this morning, one day after non-essential stores reopened

Shoppers queue for the Nike factory outlet store at the Manchester Fort retail park this morning

Shoppers queue for the Nike factory outlet store at the Manchester Fort retail park this morning

People queue outside Selfridges department store on Oxford Street in London this morning

People queue outside Selfridges department store on Oxford Street in London this morning

Shoppers wait to get into Selfridges department store on Oxford Street in London this morning

Shoppers wait to get into Selfridges department store on Oxford Street in London this morning

Staff inside Harrods in London's Knightsbridge today following the reopening of non-essential stores in England

Staff inside Harrods in London’s Knightsbridge today following the reopening of non-essential stores in England

Data from analysts Springboard has shown have footfall increased significantly yesterday, compared to the previous week

Data from analysts Springboard has shown have footfall increased significantly yesterday, compared to the previous week

Carl Maxwell, 31, a childcare worker, shopping for clothes with Jack Lewis, 31, an entertainer, added: ‘It’s a lot better than usual, I’ve never seen Primark so easy to use. I don’t understand why people camped yesterday because it’s so quiet today

‘I thought there was no chance we’d be getting in quickly but we were in after about four minutes and it was nice, it’s usually crazy. We’d love it if it was always like this.

‘I’m just a bit worried about how close some people are getting. It doesn’t feel like coronavirus exists anymore but only a small portion of people aren’t being considerate.’

Simon Toft, 44, a police officer, shopping in Selfridges, Lush, Louis Vuitton and Homesense with Andrew Steele, 31, a recruitment director, said: ‘It’s much easier than I thought it was going to be.

‘We thought it was going to be rammed and huge queues but it’s been really quiet and everyone seems to be adhering to social distancing rules.

‘Selfridges have got hand sanitiser on the tills and they actually made us wash our hands in Lush. It’s been one in one out in some places but it’s been a lot easier than we thought so I’m surprised. 

Shoppers queue outside the Niketown store on Oxford Street in London this morning

Shoppers queue outside the Niketown store on Oxford Street in London this morning

Shoppers walk past recently re-opened shops at Gunwharf Keys shopping centre in Portsmouth today

Shoppers walk past recently re-opened shops at Gunwharf Keys shopping centre in Portsmouth today

Two women go shopping at Harrods in London's Knightsbridge today following the reopening of non-essential stores

Two women go shopping at Harrods in London’s Knightsbridge today following the reopening of non-essential stores

The food hall at Harrods in London's Knightsbridge is pictured today following the reopening of the store

The food hall at Harrods in London’s Knightsbridge is pictured today following the reopening of the store

Shoppers have their temperatures taken at the Apple store on Regents Street in London today

Shoppers have their temperatures taken at the Apple store on Regents Street in London today

A Foot Locker worker cleans the shelves before opening the store in London this morning

A Foot Locker worker cleans the shelves before opening the store in London this morning

Shop employees clean shelves before opening on Oxford Street in London this morning

Shop employees clean shelves before opening on Oxford Street in London this morning

Sue Stamp, manager of the ladies department at WJ French & Son in Southampton, has her face shield adjusted by a colleague ahead of opening this morning

Sue Stamp, manager of the ladies department at WJ French & Son in Southampton, has her face shield adjusted by a colleague ahead of opening this morning

Staff at WJ French & Son clean a shoe display ahead of opening in Southampton this morning

Staff at WJ French & Son clean a shoe display ahead of opening in Southampton this morning

‘We were supposed to be flying to America today so we thought we’d spend the money on something for ourselves.’

Pharmacist, Janine, 52, shopping with construction worker husband, Iain Smith, 51, said: ‘We’ve really missed going to the shops. We always carry masks and gloves when we go out now but I think it’s the right time for the shops to open.

‘It’s been long enough. We just wanted clothes so we’ve been in Footasylum. It’s just not being able to try on clothes, we came shopping yesterday and now we’re back to return stuff.’

Helen Swindells, 30, an administrator shopping in H&M and Primark with food and beverage assistant, Terry Connolly, 25, added: ‘We’re pleasantly surprised, we didn’t have to queue for anywhere. We were expecting it to be like the Boxing Day sales.

‘We’ve really missed coming shopping so for my own selfish reasons I think they should have opened earlier but looking at the bigger picture, it’s probably a bit too early.

‘People are social distancing but without Covid I think people keep their distance anyway just because of personal space but we are carrying hand sanitiser around.’

Yesterday, Diana Wherle, Springboard’s insight director, told MailOnline: ‘Up to 5pm yesterday, footfall across all England’s retail destinations is around a third lower than a year ago, while it remains two-thirds lower in Scotland and just over half lower in Wales. 

WEEK ON WEEK % CHANGE IN FOOTFALL – MONDAY JUNE 15 2020 – UP TO 5pm
SHOPPING TYPE ENGLAND NORTHERN IRELAND SCOTLAND WALES
UK High Streets 50.50% 34.90% -5.40% 20.00%
UK Retail Parks – all 18.60% 7.80% -1.80% 4.00%
UK Retail Parks – high street retailers 33.40% n/a 3.20% 4.20%
UK Shopping Centres 34.10% 15.10% -0.40% 13.70%
UK Retail Destinations 38.80% 29.90% -3.30% 14.60%
YEAR ON YEAR % CHANGE IN FOOTFALL – MONDAY JUNE 15 2020 – UP TO 5pm 
SHOPPING TYPE ENGLAND NORTHERN IRELAND SCOTLAND WALES
UK High Streets -45.30% -38.10% -73.20% -62.70%
UK Retail Parks – all -9.40% -1.80% -37.20% -45.80%
UK Retail Parks – high street retailers -12.90% n/a -76.50% -43.80%
UK Shopping Centres -42.00% -29.40% -72.00% -67.00%
UK Retail Destinations -35.90% -35.90% -64.30% -59.80%
Data provided by Sprinboard 

‘Footfall has risen by 50.5 per cent in England’s high streets, 34.1 per cent in shopping centres and 33.4 per cent in retail parks that comprise high street retailers.

‘Footfall has risen by more than we anticipated, but it was certainly helped by the weather which made queuing a more pleasurable experience.’ 

The top UK temperature yesterday was 77.7F (25.4C) at Kew Gardens in West London, with further hot weather expected for the rest of this week and next. 

Customers turned out in force yesterday as retail parks, high streets and shopping centres reopened after a three-month shutdown due to the coronavirus crisis.

Lengthy queues of shoppers formed, many well before opening times, as people stepped out to bag a bargain or browse the rails for the first time since lockdown.

Shoppers have been encouraged to be sensible and adhere to new hygiene measures and social distancing, with a Government minister saying they are beginning to reopen the economy ‘gradually and carefully’. 

Shoppers queue outside Zara on Oxford Street in London this morning for a fashion purchase

Shoppers queue outside Zara on Oxford Street in London this morning for a fashion purchase

While shoppers generally appeared to be keeping to the two-metre distancing rule as they queued, there were images of a tightly-packed crowd outside the Nike Town store on London’s Oxford Street. 

One customer described it as being ‘a little bit crowded’, but told the PA news agency that staff ‘did all they could to put the measures in place and keep it under control’.

Long lines were seen at Primark stores across the country, with dozens of keen shoppers waiting outside branches in Birmingham, Derby, Liverpool and Nottingham.

Despite the large queues, results of YouGov polling carried out earlier this month suggested just 40 per cent of people were comfortable to go back into clothes shops, and only 48 per cent think they would be able to stay the required two metres away from other shoppers.

Some 41 per cent of people said they believe it is about the right time for the shops to reopen, but 39 per cent said it was too soon.

Oliver Rowe, director of reputation research at YouGov – which carried out four surveys between June 2 and 11, involving between 1,700 and 4,000 people – said the results show ‘there is a lot of work to be done yet to convince shoppers that it’s business as usual’.  

Shoppers wait for clothing store Zara on Oxford Street in London to open this morning

Shoppers wait for clothing store Zara on Oxford Street in London to open this morning

Customers social distance as they queue to enter the Zara store on Oxford Street this morning

Customers social distance as they queue to enter the Zara store on Oxford Street this morning

Shoppers described returning to stores as ‘a delight’ and a ‘wonderful freedom’.

People heading into the Apple store on Regent Street in central London had their temperatures checked and were told they must wear face coverings when inside.

Small business minister Paul Scully insisted it is safe to shop, noting the new looks many stores will have as they attempt to ensure social distancing and good hygiene among staff and customers.

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘The high street is going to be a different place to what it was before, with the one-way systems, with the hand sanitisers, and with people not trying clothes on in the same way.

‘But, nonetheless, it is safe to shop. I would encourage people to be sensible, work with the people in the shop but do go out and shop, and start opening our economy gradually and carefully.’

Commuters were pictured wearing masks at stations and on trains and buses across the country as face coverings on public transport became mandatory.

Zoos and safari parks were also welcoming back visitors for the first time since March, places of worship can now open for private prayer while some secondary school pupils have begun returning to their classrooms. 

A worker cleans the windows of Topshop on Oxford Street in London this morning

A worker cleans the windows of Topshop on Oxford Street in London this morning

Employees set out the barriers to aid queueing at the NikeTown store on Oxford Street today

Employees set out the barriers to aid queueing at the NikeTown store on Oxford Street today

Wakefield Trinity shopping centre is pictured this morning having now reopened to the public

Wakefield Trinity shopping centre is pictured this morning having now reopened to the public

With official figures showing the economy shrank by a fifth in April, ministers are desperate to get businesses going again to stave off another wave of job losses.

Boris Johnson acknowledged some people may be nervous about returning to the high street after so long away but insisted they ‘should shop and shop with confidence’.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak – who is reported to be considering a VAT cut to stimulate spending – acknowledged further redundancies were inevitable as the Government’s furlough scheme begins to unwind.

Ministers are under intense pressure from Conservative MPs to go further by easing the two-metre social distancing rule so the hard-pressed hospitality sector can also reopen.

Mr Johnson confirmed at the weekend that he had ordered a ‘comprehensive’ Downing Street review of the regulation and his official spokesman confirmed it will be completed in the ‘coming weeks’.

The Prime Minister has said the falling numbers of Covid-19 cases meant there was a greater ‘margin for manoeuvre’ as the chances of coming into contact with someone with the disease diminished. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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