Footfall rockets as shops reopen

Shoppers have flocked back to high streets in England and Wales as shopsreopened after three months of full lockdown.

As of Monday, non-essential shops, hairdressers, salons, pubs,restaurants, outdoor attractions and gyms reopened in England.

People living in Wales can also now visit non-essential shops and travelacross the border to other areas of the UK.In the first few hours of trading, footfall in shopping centresincreased by nearly 340% compared with a week ago, according to thelatest data from Springboard.

Meanwhile, footfall on high streets was up 233% and retail parks saw a58% week-on-week rise.The chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson,told Sky News that around £30bn of in-store sales have been lost duringthe Covid-19 pandemic so far and shops were “desperate to welcome theircustomers back”.

Some pubs and hairdressers opened at midnight, when the lockdown ruleswere officially eased.

And there were queues outside shops early in the morning as high streetretail opened up.

Primark is among the stores extending opening hours from 7am to 10pm tohelp prevent overcrowding.