The British Retail Consortium (BRC)-ShopperTrak data has revealed a drop of 76.9% year on year (YoY) in the UK footfall in January 2021.

This is the largest decline since May 2020 and a 30.8 percentage point worsening from December.

BRC data also reveals that retail footfall on high streets dropped by 73.3% YoY in January.  Additionally, shopping centre footfall declined by 78.2% YoY.2

Across all regions, Northern Ireland recorded the lowest footfall decline at -66.4%, Scotland reported -72.5%, while Wales saw -79.1% drop.

British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE said: “Footfall went from bad to worse in January, dropping by over three quarters. Under tight restrictions for the whole month, shopping centres saw the biggest decline in footfall of all retail locations, overtaking high streets for the first time since July 2020.

“The drop in footfall clearly shows the public heeding Government advice to stay home where possible. Retailers have also been playing their part, stepping up safety measures wherever possible in order to keep staff and customers safe. Nonetheless, the future uncertainty for closed retailers puts many jobs and stores at risk.

“In the face of rising rents and return to full business rates liability from April, businesses are having to make business decisions about their future.

“Government must reassure those hardest hit by the pandemic that they will receive vital financial support. Without urgent action, including a targeted extension to business rates relief, we will continue to see the collapse of more stores and consequent loss of many more thousands of jobs.”