The impact of the coronavirus Covid-19 on shopper behaviour in the UK

On January 31st the first patient was diagnosed with coronavirus Covid-19 in the UK. Since then the virus has been the center of all news broadcasting in the UK. There is a run on antibacterial soap and toilet paper seems to have become a luxury item as well. So what exactly is the impact on shopper behaviour?

Coronavirus Covid-19
Our expertise lies in tracking, analysing and interpreting footfall data, which we collect and manage for our clients. We therefore decided to take a closer look at the data to see what effect the rising number of coronavirus patients in the UK has on shopper behaviour. For the first weeks after the first UK coronavirus Covid-19 patient was diagnosed, people‚Äôs behaviour was not impacted and we see no discernible negative trend in the PFM Footfall Index. We actually see an increase in visitor numbers of almost 3% YoY towards the end of the half term week in February, which may have been impacted by consumers increased awareness of the coronavirus and the impulse to stock up on essentials.

Footfall data
From early March we start to see the first drop in shopper visits, where footfall numbers start to decline year on year, varying from a decrease of over 2% on March 2nd to a decrease of over 10% yesterday.

Updates
PFM Footfall Intelligence will be publishing a daily update on coronavirus Covid-19 and its impact on shopper visits from now on. Follow us on social media or visit the news section of our website to make sure you can see the most up to date picture.