UK-EU Store Footfall Data Quantifies the Opportunity Cost for Discretionary Retail

Against a backdrop of different policies and lockdown measures across Europe, continental clothing retail is tracking at 38% of year-on-year levels compared to just 17% in the UK – where non-essential retail remains closed. Similar measures of customer levels for other discretionary sectors show the UK and EU in lock-step at low or close to zero, while staples – ie. Groceries – in the UK are tracking higher significantly higher. Is this evidence of government policy focusing consumer spending on supermarkets with mixed-retail offerings? What will be left for single-sector retail and independents once lockdown ends?

The Huq Index measures footfall across physical stores by industries for both the UK and EU and finds contrasts between the trends in either geography. As stated, clothing retail on the continent is tracking 21% higher than in the UK at 38%. Restaurants, Bars & Cafes are tracking 10% higher than in the UK at 30pts, and Health & Fitness 7% higher at 41pts. This trend is inverted for Supermarkets, where levels in the UK stand at 83pts to Europe’s 44pts. As the end of 2020 approaches and with it the UK’s transition period for exiting the EU, the relative economic performance of either block will come under increased scrutiny. Sign up to receive regular economic updates in near-realtime directly to your inbox.


Huq Industries publishes high-frequency economic data across a range of themes derived from its first-party geo-mobility data. Our first-party, verified and compliant data supports a broad range of applications in financial services, real-estate, and public sector and CPG. Whichever research themes you are following, Huq offers a fast and reliable means to measure business and societal trends with confidence.