Footfall is subdued as Facemasks become mandatory

Retail analyst, Springboard, has released its latest footfall figures, which show that in-store traffic on Sunday July 26 fell by 39.2 per cent year-on-year, but there was also a 3.4 per cent rise week-on-week.

Springboard Marketing and Insights Director, Diane Wehrle, said: “Last week delivered another first – the first time that wearing a face covering became mandatory in stores and enclosed destinations in England – but the initial few days did not deliver conclusive evidence of its impact on activity in bricks and mortar retail destinations.

“Footfall across all UK destinations rose last week from the week before, but in England the uplift was lower than in the other three nations.

“Footfall in England declined marginally on Friday and Saturday, the only two days last week when footfall declined. However, heavy rain hit most of England on Saturday which impacted footfall in high streets, whilst in shopping centres and retail parks footfall improved from the Saturday before. In Scotland, where face coverings have been mandatory since stores reopened, the rise in footfall over the week was a third greater than in England.”

The latest figures are a slight improvement on Sunday July 19th, which saw a -41.8 per cent year-on-year and a +2.4 per cent week-on-week rise. This unfortunately showed that “the longed-for flood of shoppers returning to bricks and mortar destinations and stores once again became a trickle.” On the more positive side, the easing of restrictions in Scotland and Wales boosted footfall in these nations significantly, with double digit increases in both. All of the increase in activity occurred in high streets and shopping centres, with footfall in retail parks declining marginally from the week before