According to statistics from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) total year-on-year footfall for 2020 fell by 43.4%. Using data from the BRC-ShopperTrak covering the five weeks from 29th November 2020 to 2nd January 2021, the BRC said that year-on-year UK footfall decreased by 46.1% in December, but this was a 19.3 percentage point improvement from November when England was in lockdown.
The high street was the worst-performing location type for footfall for the fifth consecutive month and declined by 49.5% year on year, while retail parks saw footfall decrease by 17.3% year on year.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE explained that while signs had been encouraging at the start of the month, Christmas shopper numbers had dwindled as December progressed, largely due to the introduction of Tier 4 measures in England and increased restrictions elsewhere in the UK.
She added: “Now that all parts of the UK are effectively in lockdown and with social distancing measures expected to continue well into the New Year, ‘non-essential’ stores will be unable to trade their way back to recovery. A third lockdown will be one too many for some businesses. Rent bills continue to weigh heavily and the threat of a return to full business rates liability in April still looms. The government must urgently reassure those businesses hardest hit by the pandemic that they will receive vital financial support in the form of an extension to the coronavirus business rates relief.”