Total UK footfall of 2021 was 33.2% below pre-pandemic levels, however, this was up 19.3% compared to the same period in 2020, the British Retail Consortium has revealed.
According to the BRC, total UK footfall decreased by 18.6% in December, with a 2.9% decrease from October. This is below the three-month average decline of 16.4%.
Footfall on high streets was down 23.1% while retail parks saw a drop of 9.2% and shopping centre visits decreased by 36.6%.
“Much of the progress made over the last four months was wiped out in December as surging Omicron cases and new work-from-home advice deterred many from shopping in-store, particularly in towns and city centres.” British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE said.
“As case numbers rose precipitously, many people chose to limit social mixing in the run-up to Christmas and shop less frequently.”
Dickinson added: “December footfall capped a challenging year for brick-and-mortar stores, which saw footfall down one-third on pre-pandemic levels, though this was a significant improvement on 2020.
“With Christmas out the way, time will tell if shoppers return to their local high streets to embrace January sales and the arrival of spring collections.
“Still, retailers may have to work twice as hard to tempt many consumers back into the cold this January.”