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Could shopping levels be back to normal by October?

Shoppers are returning to the city centre with footfall in Peterborough increasing dramatically in the past few weeks to around 80% of pre-lockdown figures.
Footfall returning to pre-lockdown levels in city centre (photo: John Baker)

It has been a slow start, but as more shops open in the city centre, and social distancing rules including wearing a mask, hand cleaning and one-way systems become more established, levels are increasing.

Although many stores in Queensgate, including O2 and Ernest Jones, are still not allowing customers to walk in for a browse, others have been completely open to the public since June 15 - including Primark which saw huge queues in the first few days of opening.

With the reopening rush over, more people are heading into town for leisure, and according to Peterborough City Council, footfall levels are at 80% of the pre-lockdown figures.

They said: "Footfall into the city centre has increased, the latest Google Community Mobility report shows footfall for the retail and recreation sector in Peterborough to be 80% of pre-lockdown levels. Based upon this trend, footfall for this sector could return to pre-lockdown levels by early October 2020."

Many popular retailers saw a huge drop in sales during the lockdown period, particularly those who don't take part in online stores. 

Retail giant Primark went from a whopping £650m a month to zero during lockdown, due to an absence of online presence. They have since bounced back, but many small businesses have been left struggling.

However, retailers are happy to be back working daily, particularly as footfall has increased within the centre.