New Covid-19 restrictions hit city-centre hospitality hardest

The impact of schools starting and government Covid-19 restrictions hit city centre hospitality and retail the hardest, a study has found.

According to Springboard, a retail and hospitality research company, footfall rebounded in September having dropped by 28.2% in August. 

The recent slump in footfall is a consequence of the new school term – and schools finally reopening – as well as the new lockdown restrictions, including the 10pm curfew. 

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The slump accelerated from 25% down in the first week of September compared with the same week in August, to 28.7% down by the third week, again compared with the same week in August. 

Overall, footfall fell by 31.4% to the end of September with high streets the hardest-hit, Springboard said.

The downward trend in high street footfall from 34.3% to 39.4%, was considerably worse compared with the marginal decline from 32.6% to 33.7% felt in shopping centres. Retail parks having previously declined 12.5% lessened slightly to 11.8%.  

Evening-time consumer activities continued to regress due to the government’s 10pm curfew policy. Springboard said post-8pm footfall weakened by 44.7%, worse than the initial 42.1% in the rush hours of 5pm-8pm compared to 30.7% fall during 9am-5pm.

As a result of the curfew, hospitality turnovers decreased, missing the second-sitting rush that brings in late diners.


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