Posted: Thu 8th Apr 2021
An increase in the number of people visiting shops in March indicates a big surge in High Street shopping from 12 April when non-essential stores are allowed to reopen in England and Wales.
That's the claim of retail data company Springboard which found that footfall in UK retail locations fell by 28% year-on-year in March, an improvement on the big 61% decline in February.
The annual decline for High Streets was 66% during the first week of March, but it improved to a 58% fall by the end of the month.
Similarly, footfall in shopping centres saw the decline fall from 69% to 63%, and at retail parks, it decreased from 30% in the first week of the month to 15% in the final week.
Springboard said the figures show "pent up demand from shoppers for bricks and mortar stores" which supports its forecast for "a significant uplift in footfall" when non-essential retail opens in England and Wales on 12 April. The firm predicts it will be around 48% in the first week followed by a further rise of 10% in the second week.
The report's findings echo the words of retailer Sian Currie, who runs independent department store Luxury Bubble in Hampshire.
Speaking to Enterprise Nation last month about how she is preparing for reopening, she said: "From the women who are tapping on the window, the emails I've received and the messages that I'm getting on social media, I can tell all they want to do is walk into a shop!"
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