UK shopper numbers dented by rail strikes and snow
Shopper numbers across Britain fell 4.6% last week with rail strikes and cold snowy weather dealing another blow to the sector said market researcher Springboard on Monday.
It said shopper numbers, or footfall, in the week to Dec. 17, a key Christmas trading period, was 0.9% lower than last year and 20.1% lower than the 2019 level.
Springboard said high streets were hit hardest, with footfall down 10.2% week on week.
With UK inflation running at 10.7% and consumer confidence close to record lows, retailers were already fearing a muted Christmas, with a raft of surveys showing most consumers plan to do less holiday shopping this year.
Official data published on Friday showed retail sales slid unexpectedly in November, despite the men’s World Cup and Black Friday sales promotions.
Several British retailers, including Marks & Spencer and Primark, have cautioned on the outlook in recent months, highlighting the stress felt by many households as the cost-of-living crisis eats into their finances.