Bloomberg News

Footfall in London Weathers Violent Riots, Springboard Says

September 04, 2011

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The number of shoppers visiting stores in London rose in August even after riots in parts of the city in the early part of the month, according to Springboard, which monitors footfall across the U.K.

Footfall in London increased 0.9 percent from a year earlier, with half of the city’s high streets recording an improvement, Springboard said in an e-mailed statement today. Nationally, footfall fell 1.5 percent on the year.

Authorities were forced to deploy 16,000 police in the streets of London by Aug. 9 to prevent a fourth night of rioting in what was the worst wave of violent disorder since the 1980s. Prime Minister David Cameron returned early from his Italian vacation and Parliament was recalled to hold an emergency session on Aug. 11.

“The figures showed an initial dip as the riots struck,” Diane Wehrle, research director at Springboard, said in the statement. “But what’s really positive is that by the following weekend, shoppers were back out in force - even more so than during the same weekend in 2010.”

During Aug. 6 and Aug. 7, when disorder started in the U.K. capital, there was a 6.2 percent drop in footfall in London year-on-year, Springboard said.

--Editors: Fergal O’Brien, Tim Farrand

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Martin in London at bmartin38@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Armstrong at Parmstrong10@bloomberg.net


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