Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK, we have seen an unprecedented decrease in footfall. At its worst, footfall was almost 93% down on the same day compared to the previous year. On June the 15th Shops and Shopping Centres could open their doors again with restrictions on the number of visitors allowed at any one time, and we could see this in footfall numbers.
We compared the peak in visitor numbers on Monday, August the 24th to the Bank Holiday last year, and saw a noticeable drop in visitor numbers. A pattern not repeated this year when the bank holiday was much more in line with the remainder of the week. Indeed, the week of the bank holiday saw increased visitor numbers on many days, possibly boosted by back to school shopping after months of lockdown.
After the peak of new Covid-19 cases between April and May, the number of new cases has fluctuated but maintained a downward trend before plateauing at the end of June through July and August to a lesser degree. However, from September the 6th, we have seen a noticeable increase in cases, culminating in the 2nd highest number of daily cases on October the 21st since the outbreak began.
Year on year gap
Just as worrying is the year on year gap in visitors that is starting to widen again. From a best of -26% in August (bank holiday excluded) this has, over the last few days, crept back above -40% to a high of -43.3% on Wednesday, October the 23rd. The last two weeks look more promising. With the half term in most regions in week 44 after some areas saw half term in week 43, the index sees a much-needed increase of 12%, despite Wales seeing a large decrease due to the two-week lockdown imposed there and Scotland decreasing as they saw the half term earlier.
The chart below shows the footfall development over the last few weeks, combined with the number of corona cases. We continue to monitor footfall numbers and share regular updates on its development.