- Huw Hughes
UK retail footfall suffered a 12.7 percent year-on-year decrease on
Friday as concerns over coronavirus continue to mount, according to Ipsos
Retail Performance. The day also marked the first time cases of Covid-19
exceeded 100 in the UK.
The first weekend of the month – Sunday 1 March – did see a slight
increase of 0.2 percent year-on-year, which Ipsos said could be a result of
consumers hitting the shops to stockpile.
Dr. Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail
Performance, said in a statement: “It isn’t a surprise that footfall has
taken a big hit since the outbreak of Coronavirus really ramped up a notch
“Shoppers will likely be wary of stepping into stores knowing that they
might be exposed to a harmful virus – a sharp decline of -12.7 percent
year-on-year shows how habits are shifting. We are almost at the same level
of decline in footfall from the outbreak that we saw last month when the
storms caused such disruption.”
Denison said shoppers should continue to practice “vigilant” personal
hygiene as recommended by the NHS and refrain from “panic buying” which can
put unnecessary strain on retailers.
He added: “It will be interesting to see how the retail landscape
progresses as the pandemic continues, and we can hope for the retailer’s
sake that the future starts to look brighter very quickly.”
Photo credit: Pexels, Artem Bali