Footfall on the UK high street began to fall on March 12 when the Government raised the risk from moderate to high, it bottomed at the mid -80%s, a flatline that continued from March 27 to early June. The great reopening in full swing, retailers will be trying to balance access with safety. Based on the most recent lockdown behaviour data and our footfall analysis, we have observed certain habits forming that may last for some time. The main thing being that consumers avoid shopping when they think it will be crowded, as they have to stand in staggered queues. We have also seen that consumers will shop during the week because they are working from home and weekend shopping is very purposeful and directed towards doing completing the shopping trip with no thrills.
The first priority will be to ensure that their customers are safe. Socially distanced queues, sanitization facilities, contactless processes and payments, advisory and way signage and new operational procedures for staff are all in place as a legal condition of reopening. Consumers are now seeking a deeper integration between on and offline. Click and collect services need to be seamless as well as safe.
It is vital for retailers to monitor and understand real-time occupancy so they can adjust accordingly. Retailers should use occupancy data to determine what changes they can safely make to ease the shopping journey for customers. For example, we are helping retailers implement queueing systems that allow more people into the store when dwell time decreases.
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