High Street

Retail footfall recovery dampened by strikes

High streets saw the weakest performance at a 3.3% decline, and London in particular saw footfall decrease by 1.4% over the strike week

UK footfall dropped by 3.9% last week (20 June – 26 June 2022), compared with the average of the previous four weeks, due to the RMT Union Rail Strikes.

According to British Retail Consortium (BRC) Sensormatic IQ data, Thursday (23 June) was the “worst performing” day, with a 13.7% decline in footfall, followed by Tuesday (21 June) at 9.4%.

High streets saw the weakest performance at a 3.3% decline, and London in particular saw footfall decrease by 1.4% over the strike week, compared with the average for the average of the previous four weeks.

Additionally, London footfall decreased by 7.4% on Tuesday (21 June), impacted by both rail and tube strikes.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of BRC said: “Retail footfall recovery slowed last week as rail strikes disrupted journeys across the UK. As expected, commuter traffic was hit with many working from home to avoid unnecessary travel, impacting already-vulnerable city centre businesses reliant on those commuters.

“Whilst we hope footfall will bounce back in the following weeks and months, it comes at a difficult time for businesses as costs are continuing to spiral and consumers are tightening their belts.”

Andy Sumpter, retail consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, added: “After the buoyant boost to shopper numbers we saw over the Jubilee weekend, last week’s train strikes threaten to derail retail’s footfall recovery.

“While consumers stayed home and avoided unnecessary trips due to travel disruption, retailers will be hoping that the dip in footfall will be short-lived and that shopper numbers even themselves out, as pent-up demand prompts consumers back on to the high street once the strike ends.”

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