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Monthly Footfall Summary - March 2020

The following analysis contains data for footfall devices at Westdaw, The Optical Studio, Renee’s Health Food Store, Westcott & Williams, S.C. Fuller, Calliope and Dorking Light & Shade.

  • Week-on-week footfall begins to fall in mid-March in Dorking with declines across the majority of devices taking place in week 12 before the official lockdown was announced.
  • Towards the end of March, lockdown restrictions started coming into play with a full lockdown announced on the 23rd March (start of week 13) resulting in all nonessential stores being forced to close.
  • We can see the effect that this has had on footfall with an 49% week-on-week drop in footfall in week 13, and a further 13.2% drop in footfall in week 14.
  • All devices in Dorking saw a week-on-week decline in footfall in week 13, with the highest fall seen at the device located in Calliope with a 78% week-on-week decline in this location.
  • When comparing the footfall to the previous month, week 13 saw a decline of 54.1%.

Key Retail Metrics – Historical vacancy rates

  • Up to 2019, the vacancy rate in Dorking remained lower than the regional and national average showing that the high street has been performing well with a low proportion of unoccupied units.
  • The vacancy rate however has risen above the South East and GB average figures since then up to 12.8% in March 2020.
  • The vacancy rate in Dorking was as low as 5.6% in March 2016 but has slowly increased year-on-year since.
  • With many businesses facing struggles as a result of the pandemic, increased numbers of closures and a reduction in openings will cause Dorking, South East and GB vacancy to rise over the next year.

Overall footfall volume

  • The figure above shows weekly footfall levels throughout the month of March for active footfall devices.
  • The device at The Optical Studio at 62 High Street has seen the highest volume of footfall both pre-lockdown and in week 13 and 14.
  • The devices located at both Renee’s Health Food Store and Calliope saw a comparable volume of footfall from weeks 9 to 12, however as lockdown restrictions came into place from week 13 onwards, the device at St. Martins Walk (Calliope) experienced a far greater decline than the device at 37-39 High Street (Renee’s Health Food Store).
  • The devices located on West Street saw a far less dramatic decline in footfall volumes once lockdown began compared to the High Street devices.

Week-on-week change in footfall

  • Figure 3 shows the dramatic effect lockdown restrictions had in week 13 on the devices across Dorking town centre.
  • The device at Calliope saw the largest drop in footfall with a week-on-week decline of 78% in week 13.
  • Westdaw and Westcott & Williams, both located on West Street only saw declines of 6.9% and 8.4% in week 13 showing that footfall in this area of Dorking was less impacted than the main High Street.
  • Across all devices, the average week-on-week decline in footfall for week 13 came to 49% and in week 14 dropped a further 13.2%.
  • Compared to the national average which saw a week-on-week decline of 55% and 25% in weeks 13 and 14 respectively, footfall in Dorking has been less impacted as a result of the pandemic than the GB average.

Raw data


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Dorking Town Partnership
156 South Street
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