Shoppers cross Oxford Street, London

Storm Eunice hammered UK shopper numbers – Springboard

LONDON (Reuters) – Shopper numbers across Britain slumped 32% last Friday versus the previous Friday as Storm Eunice kept people at home, researcher Springboard said on Monday.

The Atlantic storm battered northwestern Europe with record winds of up to 122 miles per hour, killing at least nine people, knocking out power for tens of thousands and shredding the roof of London’s O2 arena.

Springboard said shopper numbers, or footfall, was down 3.8% across the United Kingdom in the week to Feb. 19 versus the previous week. It was, however, up 5.5% from Sunday to Thursday, before the storm hit.

“Unsurprisingly, footfall across UK retail destinations last week was majorly affected by the severe storms, which negated the positive impact of the start of the February school half-term break,” said Springboard director Diane Wehrle.

The researcher said footfall was down 26.3% versus the same week in 2019 – before the pandemic impacted traffic.

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Kate Holton)