Chinatown Footfall Down 9.1% on 3-year Mean in January 2020

What effect has the Coronavirus epidemic had on retail destinations that are associated with East Asia – the origin of the outbreak – over the course of its development so far this year? In this analysis we measure the visitor trend to London’s Chinatown and observe a significant decrease in footfall following the start of the year.

For this study we totalled the measurements in our geo-behavioural dataset that occurred within the Chinatown area, and expressed those as a share of measurements taken in the immediate local area (1km from the polygon centroid). We then calculated the monthly mean value for each month of the year and found the extent to which the actual figure deviated from that since June last year. This chart shows the resulting trends over the mean maximum value so that the axes are standardised and easier to compare.


(Source Huq Industries, 2020. Download data here).

The last full month, Jan 2020, shows a 9.1% fall in footfall relative to the mean. Provisional figures for the current month of February point to an even more dramatic decline (down to as much as half its normal level). If indeed this result is confirmed by month-end, local fears of a negative business impact as reported in the BBC will have been well founded.