UK Shopper Numbers up 6.7 Percent Last Week on “Lockdown Fatigue”

UK Shopper Numbers up 6.7 Percent Last Week on “Lockdown Fatigue”

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The number of shoppers heading out to retail destinations across Britain increased by 6.7 percent last week from the previous week, adding to evidence of lockdown fatigue, market researcher Springboard said on Monday.

The rise in the week to February 6 marked a third straight week of increases. However, shopper footfall was 63.9 percent lower than in the same week last year, shortly before the coronavirus pandemic began spreading across the country.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered England into a new national lockdown on January 4 to contain a surge in Covid-19 cases that threatened to overwhelm parts of the health system.

Under the rules in England, schools are closed to most pupils, people should work from home if possible, and all hospitality and non-essential shops are closed. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have imposed similar measures.

Springboard said footfall was up 9 percent on the week in UK high streets, up 4.5 percent in retail parks and up 4.3 percent in shopping centres.

“With shopper activity increasing for the past three weeks despite all but essential stores remaining closed, the results are delivering ever more compelling evidence of escalating lockdown fatigue,” said Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard.

She added that Britain’s accelerated vaccination campaign could be driving additional consumer confidence.

By James Davey; Editors: Michael Holden and Mark Heinrich

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