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Rise in UK shopper numbers across retail destinations driven by Christmas demand

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Christmas demand drove a 19.5 percent rise in shopper numbers across British retail destinations in the week to December 12 compared with the previous week, though numbers remain substantially below last year, market researcher Springboard said on Monday.

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In the second week following the reopening of non-essential retail stores in England after a four-week COVID-19 lockdown, week-on-week footfall across Britain was up 26.3 percent in shopping centers, 21.1 percent in high streets and 9 percent in retail parks, it said.

“The uplift was smaller than in the first week, but it was still significantly greater than in the second week following the reopening of retail in June (after a first national lockdown), indicating the desire of shoppers to visit bricks and mortar stores in the run up to Christmas,” said Springboard director Diane Wehrle.

Despite increases over the past two weeks, footfall remains well down on last year -- down 29.9 percent across all retail destinations.