High street

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High streets suffered as the hospitality sector remained shut

The first week of reopening has brought in a slight rebound for UK footfall, despite it still being more than 50% lower than last year.

New data from the BRC-ShopperTrak footfall monitor covering the week to 21 June – the first week non-essential shops were allowed to reopen following the coronavirus lockdown – showed footfall was down 57.2% year on year.

This was, however, an improvement against the previous week, when it was down 76.2% year on year.

High street footfall declined by 61.0% year on year in the week to 21 June, an improvement on a decline of 74.0% in the previous week, despite hospitality remaining shut.

Shopping centres were the most affected locations, with footfall down 63.5% year on year in the week to 21 June, still an improvement on the 80.7% year on year decline of the previous week.

Retail parks saw footfall decrease by 26.4% year on year, improving from 43% the prior week as they continue to benefit from a higher proportion of supermarkets and ease of parking.

“While many shops will welcome the increase in footfall as a result of shops opening, it is clear that the retail industry is not out of the woods,” said BRC CEO Helen Dickinson.

“The initial burst of enthusiasm which saw footfall improve in the first few days after reopening quickly gave way to the lower demand which continues to threaten retailers up and down the country. Nonetheless, the UK’s rebound compared favourably to other European countries,