United Kingdom

Customer numbers fall after compulsory face masks were introduced in shops, figures reveal

Customer numbers have fallen since compulsory face masks were introduced in shops, figures reveal.

The decline is apparent in statistics for last Friday, compared with the previous Friday when the law changed. 

Over that period, ‘footfall’ dropped by 1.6 per cent in England overall – with the steepest downturn in retail parks, where 6.6 per cent fewer people passed through.

Shopping centres, with a 4 per cent drop, also suffered, while high streets fared slightly better with a 1.9 per cent rise. 

Customer numbers have fallen since compulsory face masks were introduced in shops, figures reveal 

The decline is apparent in statistics for last Friday, compared with the previous Friday when the law changed 

But experts warned it was too early to draw conclusions, because in Scotland overall footfall increased by 3.9 per cent. 

In Wales, where masks are not mandatory, customer numbers fell 0.3 per cent.

‘It appears the introduction of mandatory face coverings in retail stores… in England has yet to boost shopper activity,’ said Diane Wehre of Springboard, the company which compiles the figures. 

‘Compared with last year, footfall in England across all retail destinations remains 37.8 per cent lower.’

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