Retailers

Shopping centre footfall to suffer, study suggests

Half of all Brits are unlikely to step foot in a shopping centre for at least three months according to new research.

New research reveals Brits are put off shopping by overcrowding (66%), long queues (55%) and the worry about social distancing (54%) since shops have begun reopening after lockdown.

According to a new study outdoor malls are set to become the future of shopping as almost half of Brits would prefer to shop in the fresh air, rather than in vast indoor centres like Bluewater in Kent, Lakeside in Essex, and Meadowhall in Sheffield.

The poll of 2,000 adults for outdoor shopping centre The Valley, in Evesham, Worcs, found that fresh air (61%), more space to keep to social distancing guidelines (50%), and wider walkways between shops (41%) are just some of the things that appeal to shoppers as we come out of lockdown.

Phil Maclean, retail director for The Valley says: “It’s a positive story of recovery. We’ve had an impressive first two weeks, with people clearly choosing to shop in outdoor centres where they can get back to some normality whilst feeling safe.

“Outdoor centres can shape the ‘new normal’ of shopping. With plenty of space between shops, large outdoor spaces to take a break, free and easy parking plus good crowd management to avoid large queues and overcrowding. It’s easy to see why people prefer this environment to crowded city centre malls.”

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