As a result of the Covid-19 measures there has been a sharp drop in visitor numbers in shopping centres throughout the UK since mid-March. There was a peak of -93% and an average over the period of -87% compared to previous year. When shops were allowed to (re)open on June 15th, we saw an initial surge as expected. Growth since has been steady albeit small.
The graph below shows the development of footfall since March. We have been focussing on town centre schemes and Mega Malls. It is interesting to see they both follow the same trend. However the Mega Malls have been consistently lower than town centre schemes every week. This could indicate people are more comfortable being outside than in, as well as a broader range of stores open and ease of access to town centres than traditionally out of town schemes.
At present, the number of visitors in town centres is around 47% lower than in the same period last year compared -53% at Mega Malls.
Week 32 shows a small increase of 0.9% in visitor numbers in the UK compared to the week before. This was the first week of the Governments Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, which began on Monday running to Wednesday.
On these days visitor numbers were up, 5.8% on Monday, 2.3% on Tuesday and 6.6% on Wednesday. This is in sharp contrast to the weekend, where Saturday and Sunday were down -6% and -5.7% respectively, although the weather over the weekend was warm and sunny perhaps drawing visitors away from shopping centres and outdoors, avoiding face masks.
Compared to last year, numbers have been hovering around a -45% decrease compared to last year for a number of weeks. The week was down -44.5%, slightly better than last week’s figure of -45.8%.