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    Storm Ciaran hits retail footfall

    (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    Storm Ciaran hit UK high streets hard on Thursday (2), as consumers avoided shopping amid dangerous conditions.

    According to latest data from MRI Software (previously MRI Springboard), footfall was down -17.3 per cent on UK high streets yesterday, against to the week previous. Across all UK retail destinations, footfall slumped by -12.4 per cent compared to last week and by -6.0 per cent year-on-year.

    The impact of Storm Ciaran was most felt by retailers in the South of England. Compared to the week previous, footfall was down -32.0 per cent in the South West. Many workers in London chose to work from home, highlighted by a -17.35 per cent drop in Central London footfall as Storm Ciaran caused travel disruption.

    James Massey, Managing Director of MRI Software comments, “While the UK was still in the process of rebounding from the aftermath of Storm Babet, bolstered by half term in parts of the UK last week, the arrival of Storm Ciaran yesterday dampening much of this recovery, creating a volatile scenario for footfall performance in UK retail destinations in recent weeks.

    Footfall yesterday fell by -12.4 per cent from the week before across all UK retail destinations which meant it was -6% lower than the same day last year. High streets, as would be expected, felt the full force of Storm Ciaran with footfall declining by -17.3 per cent yesterday which wiped out all of the gains made in the week before when footfall rose by +14.6 per cent on that particular day from the week prior.

    Shopping centres and retail parks, destination types which are usually more resilient to extreme weather, were not left unscathed as footfall declined by -9.6 per cent and -4.9 per cent respectively.

    The impact of Storm Ciaran was particularly felt in the South of England, as footfall declined by -32 per cent in the South West, followed by the East of England (-22.1 per cent), the South East (-19.2 per cent), and Greater London (-14.6 per cent).

    Central London also saw footfall fall by -17.35 per cent yesterday and it was apparent that many workers in the city chose to work from home as reflected in MRI Software’s Central London ‘Back to Office’ benchmark which showed a decline of -16.8 per cent from the same day last week.”

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