Shoppers creep back to High Streets after Boxing Day footfall slump

Shoppers creep back to High Streets and retail parks after Boxing Day sales slump with footfall now just 27% down on pre-pandemic levels after Boris gave green light to New Year’s Eve

  • After disappointing Boxing Day in terms of footfall, figures show how gap narrowing on pre-pandemic levels
  • According to figures from Springboard, footfall for December 28 下来了 27 per cent compared to 2019
  • Slow return comes despite Boris Johnson announcing no new Covid measures in England until least New Year
  • Experts say the announcement will be ‘welcomedby retail businesses after difficult pre-Christmas period
  • Shoppers hunting for a post-Christmas bargain are beginning a slow creep back to Britain’s high streets, figures have today revealed.

    After a disappointing Boxing Day sales in terms of footfalldown more than a third on 2019 – figures today show the gap is narrowing on pre-pandemic levels.

    Footfall for high streets, shopping centres and retail parks for December 28 this year was down 27 per cent compared to 2019, according to figures from data firm Springboard.

    The figures are a vast improvement from Boxing Day, when there was a staggering 41 per cent decline on footfall compared to two years agothe last time there were no Covid restrictions.

    However high streets are still struggling to bring back shoppers, with the overall figure being driven by a steep increase in footfall to retail parksdown just 5 per cent on 2019 levels yesterday.

    The slow and steady return comes despite Boris Johnson announcing no new Covid restrictions will be implemented in England between now and New Year.

    Experts say the announcement will be ‘welcomedby retail businesses, many of whom faced a high street sales slump in the lead up to Christmas due to fears over the spread of the Omircon variant.

    However experts warn that despite there being no new restrictions, shops face a difficult 2022 without further Government support.

    Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of the British Independent Retailers Association told MailOnline: ‘The figures are better than expected in the sense that many businesses thought we might be in lockdown after Christmas, so in that way there is some optimism.

    After a disappointing Boxing Day sales in terms of footfall - which was down more than a third on 2019 - figures today show how the gap is narrowing on pre-pandemic levels. 图为: Shoppers in Regent Street, central London today

    After a disappointing Boxing Day sales in terms of footfallwhich was down more than a third on 2019 – figures today show how the gap is narrowing on pre-pandemic levels. 图为: Shoppers in Regent Street, central London today

    According to data from data firm Springboard, footfall for High Streets, shopping centres and retail parks for December 28 this year was down 27 per cent compared to 2019. 图为: A busy looking Oxford Street today

    According to data from data firm Springboard, footfall for High Streets, shopping centres and retail parks for December 28 this year was down 27 per cent compared to 2019. 图为: A busy looking Oxford Street today

    The figure is a vast improvement from Boxing Day, when there was a staggering 41 per cent decline on footfall compared to two years ago - when there were no Covid restrictions. 图为: Shoppers on London's Carnaby Street today

    The figure is a vast improvement from Boxing Day, when there was a staggering 41 per cent decline on footfall compared to two years agowhen there were no Covid restrictions. 图为: Shoppers on London’s Carnaby Street today

    Scottish hospitality chiefs blast Nicola Sturgeon after she keeps ban on New Year’s Eve celebrations

    Scottish hospitality bosses have blasted Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to keep a ban on large-scale New Year’s Eve celebrations as they said it is a ‘certaintymany Scots will head over the border to England on Friday night.

    The Scottish First Minister announced a ban on large gatherings last week which torpedoed Hogmanay festivities and this afternoon she insisted the crackdown is necessary to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

    Ms Sturgeon said it is ‘prudentand ‘essentialto take action to reduce transmission of the disease in order to ‘avoid the sheer volume of cases overwhelming us’.

    一些 15,849 positive cases were recorded in Scotland yesterdaythe highest number of the pandemic ‘by some margin’ – 而 679 people were in hospital, 80 more than the previous day.

    Ms Sturgeon also faced criticism after she failed to cut coronavirus isolation times for those with the virus in Scotland. England has cut the wait from 10 days to seven but the SNP leader said the matter is still being looked at.

    The decision to stick with the ban on large socialising events sparked anger among hospitality firms as they warned the sector is ‘on its kneesin Scotland.

    UKHospitality Scotland executive director Leon Thompson told the BBC that Ms Sturgeon’s Covid curbs are ‘absolutely hammeringbusinesses and ‘there is really going to very little to celebrate here in Scotland’.

    Mr Thompson said ‘people will still celebrateand there will likely be a spike in house parties as he also said it is a ‘certaintythat many Scots will travel to England.

    Ms Sturgeon has urged people to reduce their contacts with other households and tolimit the size of any indoor social gatherings that do take place so that they don’t include people from any more than three households’.

    Experts believe as many as 100,000 Scottish and Welsh revellers could journey across the border to celebrate.

    Ms Sturgeon’s comments came as Boris Johnson said ‘everybody should enjoy New Year but in a cautious and sensible wayas he stressed the data on Omicron shows it is ‘obviously milder than the Delta variant’.

    与此同时, one of Mr Johnson’s ministers suggested Scots are welcome to come to England on December 31.

    Chloe Smith, the Work and Pensions Minister, said that ‘we are one country and people are more than free to move around inside our country under the general law’.

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    ‘This is an important period for retailers, who use this period to get rid of old stock to make room for new stock.

    '然而 2022 was always going to be a tough year for retail. We thought next year would be difficult and businesses would suffer even before Omicron because businesses face rising costsalong with customers.

    ‘However there is some optimism, perhaps more than there was a few weeks ago.

    Asked why retail parks had bounced back strongly in particular, Mr Goodacre said: ‘I think it’s down to three factors. Shops at retail parks are often bigger, so maybe people feel safer in a bigger space.

    ‘There’s also a range of businesses, and usually a supermarket, so shoppers going to stock up for New Years can also go to somewhere like Next or Boots.

    ‘And perhaps transport as well, because that is quite difficult at the moment and people might be worried (about Covid) and retail parks usually have free parking so people can drive and stay as long as they like.

    数字, from Springboard, show how footfall on UK high streets was down 37 per cent on Boxing Day compared to 2019 – the figure that is being used as a fairer comparison because the country was in lockdown in 2020.

    The biggest decline was to shopping centres, which saw a near 50 per cent decline in footfall this year, while retail park footfall decline on Boxing Day was around 40 百分.

    But the decline in retail park footfall narrowed significantly, 至 9 百分, 在十二月 27, and then further to 5 per cent on December 28.

    The decline in high street footfall actually increased to 41 per cent on December 27, before falling to 35 per cent on December 28.

    Shopping centre footfall decline also fell to 37 per cent on December 27 and to 33 per cent on December 28.

    This meant that footfall decline to all shopping destinations was 41 per cent on Boxing Day, but had fallen to 32.7 per cent on December 27 and further to 27.6 per cent on December 28.

    Figures for today are not expected to be released until tomorrow morning. However many businesses returned to full hours today after the Christmas bank holidays on Monday and Tuesday.

    It comes as England’s New Year’s Eve celebrations were yesterday given the green light after weeks of being hung in the balance.

    昨天, Boris Johnson held his nerve in the face of grim Omicron warnings from his own advisers and avoided bringing in tough new restrictions.

    The Prime Minister wants to rely on guidance urging people to limit socialising, rather than impose legally binding curbs like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland woke up to yesterday.

    Mr Johnson held crunch talks with his chief advisers Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance yesterday morning, raising fears that No10 would unveil fresh restrictions in time for the last social hurrah of the year. But he has so far refused to cave into demands for tougher action.

    In a short statement on Twitter, 他说: ‘We will continue to monitor the data carefully, but there will be no new restrictions introduced in England before the New Year. 然而, I would urge everyone to continue to act cautiously given the rising number of Omicron cases.

    ‘Most importantly I urge everyone to get their first, second or booster jab without delay to protect yourselves and your loved ones.

    The improving data has been driven by a steep increase in footfall to retail parks, which was down just 5 per cent on 2019 levels yesterday, with high streets still struggling to bring back shoppers. 图为: Passers-by look at a TV screen in a Glasgow shop showing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon making a Covid-19 statement during a virtual sitting of the Scottish Parliament

    The improving data has been driven by a steep increase in footfall to retail parks, which was down just 5 per cent on 2019 levels yesterday, with high streets still struggling to bring back shoppers. 图为: Passers-by look at a TV screen in a Glasgow shop showing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon making a Covid-19 statement during a virtual sitting of the Scottish Parliament

    Experts say the announcement will be 'welcomed' by retail businesses, who have seen lower than average footfall figures in the lead up to Christmas due to fears over the spread of the Omircon variant. 图为: Shoppers walk past a sale sign in Oxford Street in London on December 28

    Experts say the announcement will be ‘welcomedby retail businesses, who have seen lower than average footfall figures in the lead up to Christmas due to fears over the spread of the Omircon variant. 图为: Shoppers walk past a sale sign in Oxford Street in London on December 28

    Boris breaks cover after 10 days to say ‘everybody should enjoy New Year’ – as he notes Omicron is ‘obviously milderbut renews pleas to get booster

    鲍里斯·约翰逊(Boris Johnson) today gave the green light for people to celebrate on New Year’s Eve but urged the nation to be ‘cautious and sensible’.

    The Prime Minister said he believes ‘everybody should enjoy New Yeardespite the spread of the 奥米克戎 变体.

    He said the strain ‘continues to cause real problems’, with hospitalisations rising, but the data shows it is ‘obviously milder than the Delta variant’.

    Mr Johnson said the booster jab rollout means England does not currently need new 新冠病毒 限制条件, despite Scotland, Wales and 北爱尔兰 all imposing new rules on socialising.

    The premier today repeated his plea to the nation to get boosted as he warned that 90 per cent of Covid patients in intensive care units across the country had not received the top-up dose.

    Mr Johnson has faced criticism after failing to make a public appearance in recent days despite the coronavirus crisis.

    He was grilled on the subject this morning as he was asked where he had been ‘for the last 10 天'. A flustered PM replied: ‘I have been in this country.

    The comments came as hospitality chiefs suggested as many as 100,000 Scottish and Welsh revellers could cross into England to enjoy ‘normalNew Year’s Eve celebrations without restrictions.

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    But the Health Secretary still dangled the threat of tightening restrictions in 2022 to bring England in line with the rest of the home nations, urging revellers to ‘remain cautious’.

    Confirming England would be going it alone in its decision to hold fire on hitting the panic button, Sajid Javid added: ‘There will be no further measures before the New Year.’ 他告诉天空新闻: ‘It’s for each country that makes up the UK to decide how it wants to go forward.

    Official coronavirus statistics appeared to justify No10’s reluctance to resort to economically-crippling curbs, with the number of cases recorded in England having fallen every day since Christmas.

    Yesterday the confirmed infections were up just 7 per cent in a week to 98,515 but the figures were for England only, and did not represent Britain’s situation as a whole.

    Scotland’s cases spiralled to record highs during the festive break but the tallies won’t be included in the UK-wide update until Wednesday, at the same time as Northern Ireland. 威尔士’ tolls for over Christmas are set to be logged officially tomorrow.

    然而, other data laid bare the threat the NHS faces from Omicron in the New Year. Covid hospital admissions in England hit the highest level since February on Christmas Day, 与 1,281 coronavirus-infected patients placed on wards, 向上 74 一周内的百分比.

    But the same grisly data, which reflects how the ultra-infectious variant has triggered spiralling infection rates all across the country, also shows daily hospitalisation figures in Omicron-hotspot London are still below the crucial figure thought to be No10’s trigger point for imposing fresh England-wide restrictions. Promising official data also suggests that London’s outbreak is flattening off.

    与此同时, deaths have more than trebled with 143 logged today compared to 44 last Monday. But this was down to a recording lag, which saw no fatalities registered on Christmas Day and just three on Boxing Day.

    Full legal curbs would require Parliament to be recalled, which can be done within 48 小时, and would trigger already furious Tory backbenchers and cause serious problems for the hospitality industry.

    But Mr Johnson was praised from within his own party for holding firm today, with Conservative MPs saying the data didn’t support acting even tougher. Andrew Bridgen called the steps taken in Scotland and Wales an ‘over-reaction’.

    代替, he today gave the green light for people to celebrate on New Year’s Eve but urged the nation to be ‘cautious and sensible’.

    酒馆, bars and restaurants lost average of £10,335 each in the week before Christmas with December 25 takings down 60% 相比 2019, 数字显示

    British pubs, bars and restaurants lost £10,335 on average in the week leading up to 圣诞 compared to pre-Covid sales levels, new data reveals.

    And Christmas Day takings were down 60% 和....相比 2019, with city centres and 伦敦 venues hardest hit amid the rise of the 奥米克戎, industry body UK Hospitality found.

    通过对比, data from the weeks prior to the new Covid variant emerging showed average sales had been at 98% of pre-pandemic levels, leading many to hope for a successful festive period.

    December is typically equal to three monthsworth of trading, meaning the recovery in the sector and the economy more broadly could now take far longer as a result of Omicron, UK Hospitality said.

    Its chief executive Kate Nicholls warned coronavirus restrictions must now be ‘kept to a minimum and must be lifted as quickly as possible to help an already beleaguered sector’.

    Chief executive of Adnams brewery, Andy Wood, had previously said there had been a 50% drop in visitors to pubs and hotels after the chief medical officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, urged people to be cautious about socialising.

    Following the emergence of the fast-spreading Omicron variant, Professor Whitty warned Britons against ‘mixing with people you don’t have toin a December 15 地址, and advised the public to ‘prioritise social interactions that really matter’.

    Mr Wood had told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘More than half of Christmas has been lostThere is going to need to be support for the sector through the dark months of January, February and March.

    The latest figures reveal the average losses are above the maximum £6,000 cash grants offered to each affected venue by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his £1 billion fund announced last week, sparking yet more calls for industry support.

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    The Prime Minister said he believes ‘everybody should enjoy New Yeardespite the spread of the 奥米克戎 变体.

    He said the strain ‘continues to cause real problems’, with hospitalisations rising, but the data shows it is ‘obviously milder than the Delta variant’.

    Mr Johnson said the booster jab rollout means England does not currently need new 新冠病毒 限制条件, despite Scotland, Wales and 北爱尔兰 all imposing new rules on socialising.

    The premier today repeated his plea to the nation to get boosted as he warned that 90 per cent of Covid patients in intensive care units across the country had not received the top-up dose.

    Mr Johnson has faced criticism after failing to make a public appearance in recent days despite the coronavirus crisis.

    He was grilled on the subject this morning as he was asked where he had been ‘for the last 10 天'. A flustered PM replied: ‘I have been in this country.

    与此同时, British pubs, bars and restaurants lost £10,335 on average in the week leading up to 圣诞 compared to pre-Covid sales levels, new data reveals.

    And Christmas Day takings were down 60% 和....相比 2019, with city centres and 伦敦 venues hardest hit amid the rise of the 奥米克戎, industry body UK Hospitality found.

    通过对比, data from the weeks prior to the new Covid variant emerging showed average sales had been at 98% of pre-pandemic levels, leading many to hope for a successful festive period.

    December is typically equal to three monthsworth of trading, meaning the recovery in the sector and the economy more broadly could now take far longer as a result of Omicron, UK Hospitality said.

    Its chief executive Kate Nicholls warned coronavirus restrictions must now be ‘kept to a minimum and must be lifted as quickly as possible to help an already beleaguered sector’.

    Chief executive of Adnams brewery, Andy Wood, had previously said there had been a 50% drop in visitors to pubs and hotels after the chief medical officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, urged people to be cautious about socialising.

    Following the emergence of the fast-spreading Omicron variant, Professor Whitty warned Britons against ‘mixing with people you don’t have toin a December 15 地址, and advised the public to ‘prioritise social interactions that really matter’.

    Mr Wood had told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘More than half of Christmas has been lostThere is going to need to be support for the sector through the dark months of January, February and March.

    The latest figures reveal the average losses are above the maximum £6,000 cash grants offered to each affected venue by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his £1 billion fund announced last week, sparking yet more calls for industry support.

    Business leaders call for more help despite no new restrictions

    Business leaders have issued a fresh call for support for the beleaguered hospitality sector, after fears around the new Omicron variant led to a sharp drop-off in trade in the run-up to Christmas.

    The industry broadly welcomed the announcement there will be no new Covid restrictions in England before the new year, beyond the Plan B measures already in place.

    However British Chambers of Commerce president Baroness McGregor-Smith warned it would not make up for the business lost during what should have been the busiest time of the year, as people stayed away from pubs and restaurants.

    While the Treasury has announced grants of up to £6,000 for businesses affected, she said that some were losing more than that each day.

    '在一月, 二月, March we have increasing labour costs and increasing energy costs, among many other costs. The list goes on for businesses, particularly in hospitality,’ 她告诉 BBC 电台 4 今天节目.

    ‘I am delighted to see that we are protecting New Year’s Eve, but it just won’t go far enough.

    Lady McGregor-Smith urged the Government to extend the business rates relief and the emergency rate of VAT beyond the end of March, and to bring back a ‘focusedfurlough support scheme.

    She said that businesses in the sector also needed flexibility over the repayment of loans which they had taken out to support them through the pandemic.

    ‘Many, many have got more debt than they ever had before.

    ‘They are now in a position where they are going to have to pay that back and I think the Treasury needs to look very carefully at the repayment schemes for many loans across the UK,’ 她说.

    She was backed by Andy Wood, the chief executive of Adnams brewery, who said there had been a 50% drop in visitors to pubs and hotels after the chief medical officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, urged people to be cautious about socialising following the emergence of the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

    ‘More than half of Christmas has been lost. This is a sector that has the economic equivalent of long Covid.

    ‘There is going to need to be support for the sector through the dark months of January, February and March,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

    While there is relief among business that New Year’s Eve celebrations will be able to go ahead in England, some scientists have expressed concern about the lack of new restrictions following the surge in Covid cases.

    The decision announced by Health Secretary Sajid Javid leaves England out of step with the devolved administrations in Scotland, 威尔士和北爱尔兰, which have all brought in new post-Christmas controls.

    Environment Secretary George Eustice said that, while ministers continued to monitor the data closely, the early evidence suggested Omicron was not leading to a big increase in hospital admissions, as happened in previous waves.

    ‘There is early encouragement from what we know in South Africa, that you have fewer hospitalisations and that the number of days that they stay in hospital, if they do go into hospital, is also lower than in previous variants,’ 他告诉今天.

    ‘At the moment we don’t think that the evidence supports any more interventions beyond what we have done.

    ‘But obviously we have got to keep it under very close review, because if it is the case that we started to see a big increase in hospitalisations then we would need to act further.

    While hospital numbers are up, NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said staff absences could pose a bigger challenge to the health service than patients needing treatment for Covid.

    他告诉英国广播公司早餐: ‘We’re now seeing a significant increase in the level of staff absences, and quite a few of our chief executives are saying that they think that that’s probably going to be a bigger problem and a bigger challenge for them than necessarily the number of people coming in who need treatment because of Covid.

    ‘So what we’re seeing is in some hospitals, we’re now having to redeploy staff to fill the gaps that are being left in critical and essential services by staff who are off with Covid-related absences.

    Government figures showed there were a record 113,628 new Covid cases in England on Christmas Day, 与 1,281 new Covid-19 hospital admissions – 向上 74% week on week and the highest number since February 16.

    As of 8am on December 27, 曾经有 8,474 people were in hospital in England with Covid-19the highest number since March 5.

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