ALTHOUGH retail footfall in the UK has moved closer to pre-pandemic levels, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce has advised businesses to look into different avenues of providing for their customers.

Figures from retail industry analysts Springboard showed UK retail footfall was just over 15% below 2019 levels in March. The gap was narrowed from just under a 21% decline in February.

Fears of rising costs continue, however, and it is predicted that high streets may be quieter throughout April.

Shop price inflation jumped from 1.5% in January to 1.8% in February, according to the BRC-NielsenIQ price index.

It marks the highest rate of inflation it has recorded since November 2011.

Richard Miller, Business Engagement & Policy Manager at the Chamber of Commerce said: “While it’s encouraging to see figures moving back towards pre-pandemic levels, the pandemic did lead to more people shopping online or doing more of their shopping online.

“Habits change quickly, and given the benefits, not all of this purchasing will move back to our high streets and shopping centres.

“So, as many businesses have already done, it’s important, where feasible, to look to online opportunities or how they can draw people to their premises or indeed both.”


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