Latest tube strike to hit London footfall
With Londoners bracing themselves for the second round of industrial action by tube workers from tonight, footfall data from the British Council of Shopping Centres and FootFall has shown that London shopping centres suffered a significant drop in footfall in July as people were prevented from getting to the shops due to city-wide travel chaos during the tube strike.
At the peak of the disruption on 9 July, shopping centres in London experienced an 8.9% drop in footfall compared with the same day in the previous year. Footfall also dropped on the days either side of the strike, falling by 1.3% on 8 July and by 3.7% on 10 July as the city struggled to get back to normal.
The data also reveals that UK retail parks enjoyed a 6% increase in footfall year-on-year as the heatwave at the start of the month encouraged shoppers to visit the parks to buy barbeques, children’s paddling pools and gardening supplies.
Meanwhile, larger shopping centres across the UK experienced a 1.7% increase in footfall year-on-year.
Edward Cooke, BCSC director of policy and public affairs, said: “The latest BCSC footfall data sheds light on the extent of the economic repercussions of the last tube strike and suggests we can expect similar interruption over the coming days. The strike will disproportionately affect thousands of small retailers across London, as well as the larger retail brands. The industry will be watching closely, hoping for a resolution and avoidance of further disruption for shoppers and businesses.”
Robert Wilkinson, strategic account director at FootFall added: “While tube strikes are an unfortunate feature of life in the capital, retailers and shopping centre managers should adapt to them accordingly, just as they would for extreme weather and other factors which remain out of their control but impact consumer behaviour.
“In this way, it is important to brief staff on expectations around their own travel into work but also look at promotional activities to drive footfall such as offering a free coffee or discount to those showing an Oyster card during the strike.”
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