LONDON (Reuters) – The total number of shoppers across Britain’s retail destinations fell 57.7% in the week ending November 14 year on year, market researcher Springboard said on Monday, reflecting the impact of England’s second national shutdown.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland imposed new health restrictions for Covid-19 last month and England began a one-month lockdown on November 5 to curb the second wave of the pandemic that has left the UK with the highest number of deaths in Europe.
In England, all non-essential stores, along with bars, cafes and restaurants have closed except for serving take-out food.
People were also encouraged to work from home if possible.
Springboard said the numbers of shoppers, or turnout, were 64.7% lower year-on-year on UK high streets and 65.7% lower in malls but down 34.3% in retail parks.
She noted that turnout was more resilient than it had been in the first full week of England’s first lockdown in March when it fell by 75.1% across all UK retail destinations.
“The fact that turnout is more flexible may be a sign of the approaching Christmas, and shoppers’ interest in buying in advance this year to avoid waiting lists, facilitated by the wide range of non-food products offered in stores that sell staples, ”said Diane Whirl, Springboard Director, Springboard.
After the two-week lockdown ended in Wales, the appetite for retail destinations rose 135.9% last week compared to the previous week, the researcher said, providing an indication of what might happen in England when the last lockdown ends on December 2.