UK shopper numbers dip 4.1% - GulfToday

UK shopper numbers dip 4.1%


A shopper carries bags along Oxford Street in London, UK, on Monday

Shopper numbers across Britain fell 4.1 per cent in the week to May 8 versus the previous week, a third straight week of decline, with rain across much of the country hitting activity, researcher Springboard said on Monday.

It said shopper numbers, or footfall, was down 6.6 per cent in high streets, 1.5 per cent in shopping centres and 1.3 per cent in retail parks.

“Rain across much of the UK for most of last week meant that footfall dipped again from the week before,” said Diane Wehrle, Springboard’s insights director.

“The impact of the rain was evident, with a more modest drop in activity in the enclosed environments of shopping centres and in retail parks that are (more) easily accessible by car than high streets.”

Non-essential stores reopened in England and Wales on April 12 after more than three months of COVID-19 lockdown. They reopened in Scotland on April 26 and Northern Ireland on April 30.

Footfall in Northern Ireland jumped 21.1 per cent in the week to May 8 compared with the previous week.

Compared with the same week in 2019, before the pandemic started to disrupt trading last year, overall UK footfall was down 25.3 per cent, Springboard said. However the number of people heading out to shops across Britain jumped 87.8 per cent in the week to April 17 versus the previous week as non-essential stores in England reopened after three months of COVID-19 lockdown, market researcher Springboard said on Monday.

Britain stepped up efforts on Monday to look at the case for a digital pound in response to the challenge posed by cryptocurencies such as bitcoin, and outlined plans to make its financial market more attractive after Brexit.

“We’re launching a new taskforce between the Treasury and the Bank of England to coordinate exploratory work on a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC),” Britain’s finance minister Rishi Sunak told a financial industry conference.

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