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.
The chart below shows the footfall development over the last few weeks, combined with the number of covid-19 cases. We continue to monitor footfall numbers and share regular updates on its development.
The first lockdown at the beginning of March resulted in a massive drop in footfall. With non-essential stores reopening again in mid-June, footfall numbers slowly increased. In August we see a spike in the year on year chart, which actually indicates a narrowing of the % difference between 2019 and 2020. This was caused by the August bank holiday falling within different weeks each year. In 2019 it fell on Monday 26th August, and the index that day was much lower than the rest of the week, no doubt due to the nice weather and people choosing to do other things than shop on their day off.
In contrast, the 24th August, which is the comparable day in 2020, was just another day during the pandemic and footfall numbers were pretty static at the time. This, together with the drop in numbers in 2019 meant that the % difference was much less than norm at this time. What is interesting is that the bank holiday in 2020 did not show any drop in numbers as 2019 did, although perhaps not surprising as there was little else people could do at the time.
Footfall numbers were relatively stable until another slight peak right before the second lockdown started in November. After the second lockdown ended on December 2nd, visitor numbers increased towards a peak at the end of December.
After the first 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 highest number of covid-19 cases on January 8th, after which, and because of the third lockdown, the number of cases have followed a downward trend.