According to City A.M., information company Springboard reported that foot traffic increased 4.1 per cent during the week of 16 - 22 August, compared to the week before.

Non-essential retailers, such as accessories and clothing brands, had to shut shops for the coronavirus lockdown at the end of March and were only permitted to reopen from 15 June.

Insights Director for Springboard Diane Wehrle suggested that the latest foreign travel restrictions have had a positive effect on retail in the UK.

“It seems that the increased quarantine measures imposed last week on a number of overseas destinations are having a positive impact on U.K. footfall,” she said, also adding that “the uplift was more than four times as large as the week before.”

In Greater London, foot traffic was recorded with a 6.8 per cent spike, and 7.1 per cent in the South East, but the Springboard data has highlighted that the economy is still nowhere near to levels seen before the pandemic.

In Central London, foot traffic was much improved by 12.7 per cent, however, the figure remains 61.2 per cent lower than the same period in 2019, and 49.8 per cent down in regional cities.

Traffic at UK retail destinations was lower by 30.7 per cent during the week of 16 - 22 August compared to 2019. The data is compiled from shopping centres, high streets, and retail parks.

The lower number of shoppers, particularly in London, is due to the travel restrictions vastly reducing the number of tourists, it is suggested, as well as many workers continuing to work from home.

Wehrle added: “The outcome is a further incremental recovery in footfall compared with 2019, and the sixteenth consecutive week in which the annual decline has lessened which offers a glimmer of hope for retailers.”

However, while the news is that UK retail recovery is ongoing, it is doing so at a snail’s pace. The British Retail Consortium noted that foot traffic fell by 42.1 per cent in July over the same month in 2019. But the reopening of bars and restaurants on 4 July, as well as the recent ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme, offering 50 per cent discounts on food in restaurants, did help increase foot traffic to retail establishments, according to the consortium’s poll, as well as providing a much-needed boost to the country’s important services sector.

But the organisation did highlight that consumers are returning to physical shops again after lockdown measures provided a boost to online shopping. 62 per cent of shoppers said they felt comfortable visiting supermarkets, but only 42 per cent of respondents felt similarly about visiting non-food shops.

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