Visits to UK shops flatlined in June as restrictions remained largely unchanged from the month before, an industry survey showed.
Retail footfall improved by 0.1 percentage point in June from May, leaving activity 27.6% lower than two years earlier, the British Retail Consortium said.
Footfall dropped by more than a third from two years earlier in shopping centres and high streets while visits to retail parks fell 8.1%. The BRC said households were making more considered shopping trips with less browsing and more buying.
Restrictions affecting shops were broadly similar from May to June. The government is planning to lift almost all constraints on 19 July, allowing many workers to return to their workplaces in city centres. The BRC called on the government to issue clear guidance with many scientists and the Labour opposition questioning the plan.
Helen Dickinson, the BRC’s chief executive, said: “Retailers are hopeful that footfall will recover further with the move to the final stage of the roadmap, particularly as office workers begin to return to work. The ongoing vaccination programme is essential to the UK economy’s success in the future, as future lockdowns would imperil the current recovery. Government must provide clear and consistent guidance on 12 July to ensure both the public and businesses know what is expected of them.”