Footall across local shops and business in June remained at record lows despite many stores coming out of lockdown during the month. This is disappointing news for some many UK SMEs retailers who are struggling to survive during this difficult period. The SME club is still continuing to campaign to #saveourshops.
New figures from retail experts Springboard revealed that footfall across UK shopping destinations fell by 56.6% in June compared to the same month in 2019. However the figures were an improvement on May when there was a 73.3% year-on-year decline.
Local shops and retailers across the UK have adhered to the government's guidelines in terms of maintaining social distancing in store and providing hand sanitiser for customers, but few have made efforts to revitalise the shopping experience to attract customers amidst the pandemic.
With these statistics in mind, CEO of Ubamarket, Will Broome, comments on the state of the UK’s retail sector and discusses how retailers must transform their operations to get customers back in-store: "The statistics have made it very clear that whilst the retail sector has experienced a gradual increase in footfall over the past few weeks, consumer confidence is still extremely low. It's great to see that retailers are doing a good job of upholding government guidelines and adhering to social distancing and hygiene measures in-store, but this is simply not enough to inspire customers to risk heading back to the high-street or shopping centre.
In order to entice customers back in-store, retailers must accept that the landscape has completely changed, and hygiene is only one of the concerns. As a result, the whole shopping experience must be revitalised and transformed, to allow for increased hygiene and safety measures, but also addressing concerns around convenience, personalisation and ease of the consumer experience. Retail technology is one option which offers a solution to a number of these challenges, enabling retailers to easily uphold safety guidelines whilst also hyper personalising and improving the convenience of the in-store experience."