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January 4, 2022updated 09 Feb 2022 11:17am

UK stores see sluggish growth in post-Christmas week

UK retail stores witnessed a 24.5% drop in footfall during the days immediately after Christmas compared to the same week in 2019 according to analysts at Springboard, as the Omicron variant rapidly spread.

By Hannah Abdulla

The number of shoppers in UK stores was also 15% lower than the previous week, with shopping centres seeing the biggest drop, retail analytics company Springboard said according to a Reuters report.

Retailers across the UK were banking on a post-Christmas sales boost as stores were able to remain open this year whereas many were forced to close during the same period last year in line with Covid-19 restrictions.

But Springboard said Boxing Day footfall (26 December) was 41% lower than pre-pandemic levels.

New Year’s Eve however did see a 5.2% increase in shoppers compared with Christmas Eve, a reversal of the situation from a year ago.

“Despite the well-documented cautiousness of shoppers in the run-up to and over Christmas this year, it appears that on New Year’s Eve there was a shift in behaviour with footfall in high streets increasing from the week before (Christmas Eve),” said Springboard Insights Director Diane Wehrle.

“The winners on New Year’s Eve were Central London and historic town centres where footfall rose significantly from the week before, whilst declining in smaller local high streets.”

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