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Rain and cold drives UK shopper numbers lower

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: File photo of shoppers crossing the road in Oxford Street, in London

LONDON (Reuters) -Shopper numbers across Britain fell 2% in the week to May 1 versus the previous week, with rain and lower temperatures putting off people from outside locations, researcher Springboard said on Tuesday.

It said shopper numbers, or footfall, fell 6.1% week-on-week on high streets but rose 2.8% in shopping centres and 1.6% in retail parks.

"In part, this is likely to have been due to the rain and cooler temperatures in the second half of the week in a number of areas across the UK which will have deterred shoppers from external locations," said Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard.

Non-essential stores reopened in England and Wales on April 12 after more than three months of COVID-19 lockdown. They reopened in Scotland on April 26 and Northern Ireland on April 30.

Springboard said footfall in all British retail destinations was down 25.9% versus the same week in 2019.

(Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle and Alex Richardson)