Non-Food Retail Store Visits Double After Reopening, But Remain Low

Visits to non-food retail stores more than doubled since restrictions eased last month, with the trend showing that footfall has risen from 10% to over 30% of pre-pandemic levels.

This index from Huq Industries measures in-person visits to stores ranging from clothing, shoe shops and homeware to DIY, pet shops and opticians to chart how that value has changed in relation to the equivalent weekday median in February 2020.

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    The data shows how the trend for non-food retail climbed no higher than 15% since the start of the year but rose to 37%+ this month, although footfall appears to have steadied here at around 32% in recent days.

    Reports show how some retailers recorded the sharpest growth in sales since 2018 when forced closures eased last month.

    However, with social distancing restrictions still in place and an unusual trading environment, actual store visits are still down 60pts+ in comparison to last year and it will take time to understand the extent to which consumer behaviours of the last year are here to stay.

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