LONDON (Reuters) – Shopper numbers across Britain fell 4.1% in the week to May 8 versus the previous week, a third straight week of decline, with rain across much of the country hitting activity, researcher Springboard said on Monday.
It said shopper numbers, or footfall, was down 6.6% in high streets, 1.5% in shopping centres and 1.3% in retail parks.
“Rain across much of the UK for most of last week meant that footfall dipped again from the week before,” said Diane Wehrle, Springboard’s insights director.
“The impact of the rain was evident, with a more modest drop in activity in the enclosed environments of shopping centres and in retail parks that are (more) easily accessible by car than high streets.”
Non-essential stores reopened in England and Wales on April 12 after more than three months of COVID-19 lockdown. They reopened in Scotland on April 26 and Northern Ireland on April 30.
Footfall in Northern Ireland jumped 21.1% in the week to May 8 compared with the previous week.
Compared with the same week in 2019, before the pandemic started to disrupt trading last year, overall UK footfall was down 25.3%, Springboard said.
(Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle and Louise Heavens)