Posted: Thu 5th Aug 2021
People fearful of being forced to self-isolate and cancel their summer holidays contributed to a decline in retail footfall in July.
Data from Springboard showed the number of UK shoppers fell by 24.9% last month compared to July 2019, more than the 22.9% decrease in June. At -30.5%, high streets saw the biggest fall with -30.2% in shopping centres and -4.2% in retail parks.
Footfall was impacted by the very hot weather followed by rain, but the report said shoppers also curtailed visits to stores in case it resulted in them being pinged by the coronavirus tracking app, needing to self isolate and missing out on their summer holiday bookings.
Retail visits grew by 16.5% week-on-week on 19 July, the so-called 'Freedom Day' when restrictions were removed in England, but it dropped to a very modest increase averaging around +3% on the following days of the month.
It is believed around one million were told to self-isolate in the week to 21 July.
In response to complaints by businesses about the impact of the 'pingdemic' on both customer numbers and staff having to isolate, the NHS COVID-19 app was updated this week to ensure fewer people receive alerts.
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