According to market researcher Springboard, the number of shoppers at British retail outlets fell only marginally last week as people got used to new measures to curb COVID-19 including a 10 p.m. closure of bars and restaurants. It said shopper numbers, or footfall, fell 0.3 per cent in the week to October 10 from the week before. That compared with a fall of 3.5 per cent in the previous week - the first complete week of the new curbs imposed by the government on hospitality outlets.
Springboard said footfall rose 0.1 per cent in high streets and 0.4 per cent in shopping centres last week but declined 1.6 per cent in retail parks. The year-on-year decline was 30.9 per cent. .However, the government is expected to announce further restrictions on the hospitality industry, hitting the north of England hardest, following a spike in COVID-19 infections.
Britain's retail and hospitality sectors, already struggling with high rents and business taxes, have been hammered by the coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of closures and thousands of job losses have already been announced.