Retail Footfall Witnesses Sharp Uptick on Reopening, but stocks were a no-show

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Summary

  • Retail analyst group Springboard’s data up until 10 AM showed 218.2 per cent surge in overall retail footfall.
  • High street footfall remained 31 per cent lower in terms of when compared to the same period two years ago.

UK’s retail footfall, as per expectation, is witnessing a huge uptick on the first day of reopening for non-essential retails and several other high street businesses. Though the day is still progressing, the customer footfall figures, released by the Retail analyst group Springboard till 10am, has shown a massive surge of over 200 per cent in the number of people going to shops as compared to the same period last week. However, the data from the Springboard has also showed that the numbers are 14.7 per cent lower as compared to the same day two years before the advent of the Covid-19, when the country was doing the normal business.

All retail segments show upswing

As per the Springboard data, the overall footfall surged by 218.2 per cent week-on-week, while segment-wise, shopping centres were witnessing the maximum rise of 339.7 per cent, high streets 232.8 per cent, while the retail parks were witnessing the weakest increase in footfall among all with an increase of 58.2 per cent week-on-week.

Springboard’s latest report also revealed that retail parks are fuller by over 12 per cent compared to the same period 2019, on the other hand, high street when compared to the same period is still 31 per cent lower in terms of footfall than two years ago.

Among the optimistic dynamics of the report, the overall footfall across all UK destinations is up by a little over 505 per cent as compared to 2020, when the country was under first lockdown, and it is just 14.7 per cent lower than the numbers in 2019, during normalcy.

                                 

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Surge across regions

The report has highlighted that footfall in central London until 10 AM today was up by 230 per cent as compared with last week, though the numbers still remain almost 68 per cent lower than what was during the same period in 2019.

Non-essential retail also reopened for Wales with ease in border restrictions to permit travel again with the rest of the UK and Ireland. However, Scotland’s non-essential retail is scheduled to reopen from April 26.

There has been a surge in footfalls, but the numbers are not as of the pre-pandemic era mainly due to the fact that tourists are keeping away, and all the workers are yet to come out of the home. Some are still anxious of the spread, though the advisory from government advisers has suggested that relaxation will not result in a surge of cases that would put pressure on the NHS. Now, the next important date is 17 May, when the hospitality sector will get more relaxation and indoor socialising will be permitted under the “rule of six” if everything goes as per government’s expectation.

As the footfall across retail segment has surged, let us take a look at how different retailers are performing on the stock exchange.

JD Sports Fashion Plc (LON: JD.), a high street apparel retailer stock, was not enthused by the increased footfall and was down by 1.53 per cent to GBX 903.00 as of 13:00 PM GMT+1 on 12 April 2021.  The stock has though given a return of 4.95 per cent since the beginning of the year.

Next Plc (LON: NXT), the multinational clothing and accessory retailer, was not getting much traction on the stock exchange, as its shares were down by 1.91 per cent to GBX 8,138.00 as of 13:06 PM GMT+1 on 12 April 2021.  The stock has though, given a handsome return of 14.74 per cent since the beginning of the year.

Primark, a fast fashion retailer owned by Associated British Foods Plc (LON: ABF) though has witnessed a long queue at its different outlets, but the sentiments were not visible at ABF counters on LSE, the stock was down by 1.05 per cent to GBX 2,458.00 as of 13:06 PM GMT+1 on 12 April 2021.  The stock has though given a return of 8.48 per cent since the beginning of the year.


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