Foot traffic on London’s Oxford St paints a positive picture of what may come as pedestrian traffic touched pre-Covid levels between lockdowns ahead of Christmas. Having regained 80%+ of previous levels for much of the summer, the Indicator fell sharply during Lockdown #2 before peaking at 98pts ahead of Christmas on Dec 9th.
In the nine days since the Brexit transition period ended, high-frequency data from Huq Industries shows journeys through UK ports down 26% on January 2020. At the same time, the time spent transiting through UK ports has risen 10% since December 31st to read 112.6pts.
With the festive season behind us and the new year begun, Huq looks back at high-street footfall during the Christmas shopping period between December 15-24th for Oxford Street, London and the Grand Vía, Madrid. We often provide outputs from our geolocaton dataset in the form of a time-series index as this is one of the most effective ways to highlight the information contained within the underlying mobility data.
Elf presence across Christmas workshops in Lapland has reached a new high today, with The Elf Index showing a significant rise in Elf productivity over the course of the last week.
Workplace attendance in the UK is nearing zero as the second national lockdown and subsequent tired system sends employees back to the home office. The number of people going into work had reached a similar low in April / May before gradually returning to almost 40% of YOY levels by the Autumn
Movement through UK ports fell by some measure over the last month, as reports show ‘gridlock’ at container ports such as Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway were experiencing reduced access. Happily for the businesses that import / export goods however that trend appears to be recovering.
Footfall to UK restaurants has risen sharply following the end of the second national lockdown, but levels remain around a fifth of what they usually are at this time of year. The Huq Index suggests that the recovery of restaurant trade could be taking more of a ‘V’ shape than the gradual recovery seen after the first national lockdown ended on 4 July
Worker and traveller presence across UK ports fell 40pts during the first national lockdown before recovering to 90% of January levels, where it has held fast over the course of the last seven months. As the Brexit transition period draws to a close, and amid reports of bottlenecks across the country’s ports of entry, the Huq Index offers a high-frequency measure of activity at these locations.
Eager shoppers appear to have flocked to the high street with the end of lockdown, causing footfall to UK clothing stores to rise to 62% of YoY levels in the last few days. Huq’s Index shows how the second national lockdown and forced closure of many stores saw footfall levels drop to just 15% of YoY levels – almost as low as they did in April.
Over the course of 2020 we have seen reports of the pandemic affecting different parts of the UK in different ways, with age, industries and travel distances suggested as possible contributors. Today we look at Huq’s measure of population mobility for England – that is, the extent to which residents of cities in different regions are travelling on average day by day.
UK residents living in regions destined for Tier 1 tomorrow have demonstrated greatest restraint in terms of mobility during recent months and the last few weeks of lockdown. What will they do with their newfound freedoms? Data from the Huq Index – which measures daily distances travelled – suggests not very much.
Huq has mapped the density of people within London by postcode district, month-on-month since the start of the year to create a time-lapse revealing emerging patterns. The visualisation shows how lockdowns one and two have transformed the capital, and what activity looks like across the city today.
Against a backdrop of different policies and lockdown measures across Europe, continental clothing retail is tracking at 38% of year-on-year levels compared to just 17% in the UK – where non-essential retail remains closed. Similar measures of customer levels for other discretionary sectors show the UK and EU in lock-step at low or close to zero, while staples – ie. Groceries – in the UK are tracking higher significantly higher.
Alternative real-time data from Huq predicts a bleak winter ahead for European manufacturing – particularly in food, chemicals and aerospace.
Supermarket shopping in the UK is holding resilient through the UK’s second national lockdown, with footfall over the last week comparable to last year’s levels while attendance to supermarkets on the continent has reached a new low.
Catherine McGuinness, chair of policy at the City of London Corporation, which governs the financial district, warned of “a bleak winter”. She said: “People have been steadily coming back to the City but this plateaued in September and will now drop off.”
City population mobility in parts of the UK is just 15pts lower than usual levels in this second national lockdown, with Huq’s Index suggesting that residents have been far less restrained than they were during lockdown 1.0 in April.
Staffing levels at industrial facilities across Europe have fallen significantly with much of the continent in the midst of lockdown, with worker presence in some sectors dropping to levels beneath April. The second wave has brought steepest declines to Aerospace, Chemical and Food producers.
As we approach the end of the first week of lockdown 2.0, the Huq Index shows that footfall across the UK’s foodservice outlets appears to be holding stronger than it did when businesses were forced close earlier this year.
Footfall to UK supermarkets has so far dodged the second wave slump, with Huq’s Index recording levels higher than last year over the last week whilst all other consumer sectors dive and supermarkets on the continent see attendance cut in half.