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Shoppers stay away

Christmas Eve shopping footfall slumps by 40%

Woman shopper looking at masks

Shoppers have stayed away from high streets

The traditional Christmas Eve rush was absent from retail centres today as footfall was down by almost half on last year.

Overall numbers were down by 40% as shoppers were deterred by lockdown measures. The figures will be even lower this weekend as tougher restrictions are imposed on Boxing Day and some stores such as M&S have opted to close anyway to protect staff.

Retail parks fared the best today, recording a fall of 24.1% by noon compared to 2019. Footfall to shopping centres slumped 42.8% while high streets saw a 46% fall.

Regions under tier 4 coronavirus restrictions account for 24.4% of all UK footfall. Central London was the most severely impacted, with footfall 78.8% lower this morning than the same time last year.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “Since the start of the pandemic, the retail industry has been heavily impacted and retailers have had to adapt more than ever before.


“The continuing impact of government restrictions will no doubt be even more evident on Boxing Day as shoppers are encouraged to stay home and avoid the post-Christmas sales.

“Regional cities are typically the busiest trading locations on Boxing Day as shoppers clamour for bargains, however, by then five of the 12 regional cities – which account for 45% of footfall across all regional cities – will either be in tier 4 or full lockdown.

“Therefore the in-store experience of Christmas Sales will not be possible for many as we near the end of 2020.”

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