Lockdown 3.0 drives footfall by 27.1 per cent in first week of 2021

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Members of the public walk through Woolwich town on January 04, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The number of shoppers heading out to stores, malls and other outlets across Britain fell 27.1 per cent last week from the week before, reflecting the impact of new lockdowns to stem the spread of COVID-19, researcher Springboard said on Monday.

Last Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered England into a new national lockdown to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases that threatens to overwhelm parts of the health system.

Under the new rules in England, schools are closed to most pupils, people should work from home if possible, and all hospitality and non-essential shops are closed. Devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have imposed similar measures.

Springboard said that across Britain footfall fell by 35 per cent week-on-week in shopping centres, 26 per cent in high streets and 21.3 per cent in retail parks.

“During the first full working week of 2021 and introduction of lockdown 3.0, the reduction in footfall across UK retail destinations from the week before was nearly as great as that during early November when England entered lockdown 2.0.,” said Springboard director Diane Wehrle.

On a year-on-year basis, footfall across all UK retail destinations was 63.8% lower than in the same week last year, Springboard said.