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UK shopper numbers plummet 27.1% as lockdowns impact - Metro US

UK shopper numbers plummet 27.1% as lockdowns impact

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers queue to enter a shoe shop at the start of the Boxing Day sales amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manchester

LONDON (Reuters) – The number of shoppers heading out to stores, malls and other outlets across Britain fell 27.1 % last week from the week before, reflecting the impact of new lockdowns to stem the spread of COVID-19, researcher Springboard said on Monday.

Last Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered England into a new national lockdown to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases that threatens to overwhelm parts of the health system.

Under the new 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. Semi-autonomous executives in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have imposed similar measures.

Springboard said that across Britain shopper numbers, or footfall, fell by 35% week-on-week in shopping centres, 26% in high streets and 21.3% in retail parks.

“During the first full working week of 2021 and introduction of lockdown 3.0, the reduction in footfall across UK retail destinations from the week before was nearly as great as that during early November when England entered lockdown 2.0.,” said Springboard director Diane Wehrle.

On a year-on-year basis, footfall across all UK retail destinations was 63.8% lower than in the same week last year, Springboard said.

(Reporting by James Davey, editing by Estelle Shirbon)

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