Monthly Footfall Summary - July 2020
The following analysis contains data for the devices at S.C. Fuller (reopened 15th June) and Renee’s Health Food Store (remained open throughout lockdown).
- From the 4th July 2020 (week 27), the majority of businesses in the retail and leisure sector were permitted to reopen with theatres, nightclubs and gyms being some of the few exceptions.
- These further restrictions being lifted, together with a decline in the presence of the virus has led to further increases in footfall across Dorking in the month of July.
- When comparing the footfall to the weeks of June we can see how much footfall is now increasing month-on-month throughout lockdown, however as the weeks are progressing, this increase is slowing.
Key Retail Metrics – Proportion of businesses not open (as of 4th July)
- With much of the leisure sector reopening on the 4th of July, some businesses such as gyms, nightclubs and nail salons were still forced to remain closed.
- If we look at the proportion of these businesses that are located in Dorking town centre, they make up 4.6% of the total retail and leisure stock, around 1% less than the South East and GB average.
- This puts Dorking in a similar position compared to other town centres in regards to risk levels within the town centre.
- Not only will these businesses have to delay reopening, but when they do open, they will have to adapt their processes to ensure they meet guidelines around safety.
Overall footfall volume
- Figure 2 shows the weekly footfall throughout the month of July for active footfall devices.
- The volume of footfall at these locations more than doubled when compared to the volumes seen during the initial lockdown period (week 13 and week 14).
Week-on-week change in footfall
- Figure 3 shows that throughout July, footfall increased each week with the lockdown restrictions easing further at the start of July a key driver of this change.
- Despite this, the rate of increase slowed towards the end of the month, and then started to decline at both locations in week 31.
- This decline could be a result of very hot weather making people more likely to spend time in other places other than the town centre such as leisure destinations or nearby parks, and potentially due to the novelty of the restrictions easing beginning to pass.
Daily footfall profile
- Figure 4 shows the average footfall profile throughout the day at the 2 device locations in 2019 and July 2020.
- The 2019 graph appears to have a small peak around 12-1pm and then a slightly smaller peak between 3-4pm. In July 2020, the curve is similar but appears a lot smoother with the highest footfall still between 12-1pm, but less of a dramatic spike than the 2019 average.
- This could be a result of those who are working from home taking their lunch breaks in their houses, as opposed to coming out to the town centre to pick up some food on their break and then heading back to work, which would lead to a reduction in the midday footfall.
- The 2019 chart also tracks a sharper increase from 7-9am than the July 2020 profile.
- This could also be a result of more people working from home, which would reduce the morning commute foot traffic.
- The reduced opening times for many stores would also impact the footfall profile as footfall is concentrated in the middle hours of the day.
- The July 2020 curve now resembles that of a smooth bell curve which is usually typical of shopping focused destinations.
Footfall across days of the week
- Figure 5 shows that in July 2020, footfall was more evenly spread throughout the week when compared to 2019.
- Compared to weekdays in July 2020, Saturday only saw around a 2% increase, before dropping considerably on Sunday.
- In 2019, footfall was low Monday to Thursday with a large percentage of the weekly footfall on Friday and Saturday, followed by a drop in footfall on Sunday.
- This levelling out of footfall throughout the week will again be due to the lockdown restrictions that have been in place and people being less likely to return to the high street for non-essential trips.
- This could also be due to shoppers choosing to head towards the town centre on days that they think will be quieter, as to reduce the number of people they encounter.
- This is highlighted even more clearly if we compare the Monday-Thursday footfall with Friday-Sunday footfall as a share of the total footfall throughout the week.
- Figure 6 shows that the share of Monday-Thursday footfall has increased by nearly 10% compared to the 2019 average. We predict that this may increase further in August with the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme that offers discounts at restaurants from Monday to Wednesday in this month.
Weekly footfall compared to previous month
- When footfall levels are compared to June, we see that weekly footfall is increasing month-on-month, however as time goes on, this increase is slowing as can be seen clearly in figure 7.
- This suggests that without any further changes, footfall is likely to continue levelling out and will stabilise with no major fluctuations in weekly footfall. However, the government’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme may increase footfall in the first half of the week.