‘Psychological impact of the pandemic will linger’ as footfall declines

Footfall in retail destinations over the four days was 83.1% lower than Easter weekend last year and 14.5% lower than over the same four days in the previous week.

Despite the warm weather providing a clear temptation for leaving home, the latest figures show that the UK adhered to the government enforced lock down and stayed at home to save lives and protect the NHS.

Footfall did increase by 3.7% on Saturday from the Saturday before, driven by increases from the week before in both coastal towns and historic towns. However, on Monday there was a significant drop in footfall from the previous Monday, most probably aided by the much cooler weather.

These results follow closely on from March, which actually ended just a week prior to Easter, and which will be forever remembered as the month that the UK went into lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, with the closure of all stores but those selling the most essential of items. 

The resulting impact on footfall in retail destinations inevitably was an unprecedented decline over the month from March 2019. 

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: “It is likely that even when we are in recovery, the psychological impact of the pandemic will linger with social distancing continuing to be the new normal for some time to come.  If this were to be the case, retail parks and the space they offer will be a favoured destination for many.

“In the meantime, as lock down is likely to continue for some weeks yet, Britons will remember the role retail staff across grocery, pharmacy and every day essentials stores played in March 2020 and beyond in keeping it possible for families and households to continue to shop during such troubling times.”