New analysis released today has shown how the UK’s Covid app ‘pingdemic’ is leading to a significant slowdown in people both moving around and visiting shops. Across the UK as a whole in July, average retail footfall has fallen by 2.83% and mobility by 5.5%.
Parts of the North East have seen a pronounced fall in activity this month. Newcastle upon Tyne (UK’s fourth highest pings per capita, at 2.02%) has seen mobility drop by 13.4% and retail footfall go down by 7.06%.
North and South Tyneside, both of which are also in the top ten for the number of pings per capita in July, have seen mobility fall by 9.3% and 7.8% respectively. Footfall in shops in those local authority regions have plummeted by 11.99% and 14.62% respectively.
Stroud in Gloucestershire has seen the biggest fall in shop visits this month (down 36.19%), while North Devon has felt the highest drop-off in people moving around, down by 41.1%.
The City of London local authority area has seen the highest rate of ‘pings’ in July to date (hitting 6.14% of the populace) and has also seen mobility drop by 13.1% and retail visits fall by 5.68%.
The research was carried out by Huq Industries, a mobility research business, using its Community Vision product, for use by local councils to support decision-making around the future of our cities, towns and high streets.
Huq’s extensive dataset of real-time population mobility data, comprised of 1bn+ mobile geo-location data-points daily, is used by retailers, investors and the public sector to measure footfall across a range of consumer, business and industrial settings.
The data found that in 210 of the UK’s 325 local authority regions, retail footfall has fallen off since the start of the pingdemic and in 221 of them in terms of overall footfall. The regions with the highest rate of pings per capita are located across the country, but London and the North East are well represented in the top 12.
Conrad Poulson, chief executive officer at Huq Industries said, “The pingdemic has led to more people self-isolating, which in turn means fewer shopping trips and less moving around. On the one hand, it’s good to see that many people are following the app’s guidance to stay at home if they’ve been pinged, but on the other it’s also impacting the UK’s ability to recover from the pandemic.
“If the number of pings continues to rise, we could well see an even larger effect on retail footfall. The Government will have to tread a fine line between keeping people safe and sparking a genuine economic recovery.”