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Mass strike action across UK hits retailers hard

Retail in the UK has been hit hard by today’s strike action, with mass walkouts causing an 11.1% decline in week-on-week footfall up to 12pm. City centres have been damaged by a -9.6% dip across all UK city centres compared to last Wednesday. 

According to the latest figures from MRI Springboard, the gap to 2022 has also widened today to -13.6% from -7.9% last Wednesday, with the gap to 2019 extending to -34.1%. Last week the gap to 2019 stood at -23.9%.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at MRI Springboard, comments: “Footfall has been severely impacted by the strikes today with a decline in footfall from last Wednesday of -11.1%. This decline is even more significant than usual as it comes on the back of reduced footfall last Wednesday, when customer activity declined by -13.9% from the week before due to severe weather. Of the three destination types, retail parks have been the hardest hit with a drop in footfall of -21.3% from last Wednesday, although part of this will have been a result of a stronger result than the other two destination types last Wednesday when footfall in retail parks declined by just -7% versus -18.4% in high streets and -11.3% in shopping centres.

“The positive result is that despite the strikes footfall rose today by +7.1% in Central London from last Wednesday. However, in city centres around the UK footfall was -9.6% lower than last Wednesday.

“Footfall is lower today than last week in all but two geographies (Greater London and the South West) with the greatest drops from last week occurring in Northern Ireland, North & Yorkshire and Scotland.”

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