Cities in London and Nice Britain are affected by low customer frequency following elevated restrictions


Cities in London and Great Britain are affected by low visitor frequency following increased restrictions

Don-Alvin Adegeest |

Thursday, October 8th, 2020

UK retailers suffered a fall in visitor numbers in September, down -34.6 percent in main streets, -31.5 percent in shopping centers and -10.8 percent in retail parks.

The numbers released today by Springboard show that greater restrictions on movement are affecting retailers and stores.

The biggest impact of introducing the mandatory 10pm closure was on the main streets where most of the restaurants are located. In the second half of the month, the number of visitors rose from -34.3 percent to -39.4 percent.

Consumer activity was inevitably hampered by increasing government restrictions during the evening – as was the desired political outcome – with visitor numbers falling after 8 p.m. by -44.7 percent and -42.1 percent between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. compared to – 30.7 percent between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. 5 p.m. This suggests that for many hotel operators who miss their second session and therefore lose a significant portion of sales, one way forward could be to extend meal times and encourage customers to eat earlier.

Retail parks consistently outperformed main streets and shopping malls, and in September daytime trading hours in retail parks were just 7.3 percent lower than in 2019.

Central London was hardest hit.

In September, visitor numbers in regional cities fell by -35.8 percent (compared to -35 percent in August) and -56.4 percent in Central London, compared to just -24.2 percent in Outer London and -23.5 percent in market towns across the UK.

This is the first conclusive evidence of the importance of the working population to the local economy, and suggests that brick-and-mortar retail could change fundamentally in the long run if work from home becomes an embedded long-term trend.

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