Railway strikes a ‘blow’ say struggling retailers

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Etailers says this week’s rail strikes are a “blow” as they struggle with rising costs and staff shortages and are dependent on the first unrestricted summer since 2019.

Access will be expected to fall by 9.3% across all retail destinations next week, but main streets will see 10% fewer shoppers and malls will receive 13% fewer visitors, according to analysts Springboard.

Diane Wehrle, director of insights at Springboard, said: “The planned rail strikes are likely to encourage those who can hybrid work to work from home, and therefore the number of visits to cities and towns is likely to fall – on special strike days, but also on strike-free days. days, due to delays that are likely to occur on strike-free days due to the trains being in the wrong place.

This will be a particular blow to commuters who rely on these services to get into the capital and other city centers to work, and retail and hospitality companies who are already struggling with rising costs and staff shortages

“The latest evidence, from the day of the underground strike, indicates that the number of visitors fell in central London, while it increased marginally in outer London.

“An increase in activity in centers in outer London has been synonymous with homework, as people can more easily visit their local main streets.”

Dee Corsi, chief operating officer of the New West End Company, which represents 600 retail, restaurant, hotel and property owners in central London, said: “The proposed rail strikes are expected to bring London’s West End and the wider country to a halt. .

“This will be a special blow to commuters who rely on these services to get into the capital and other city centers to work, and retail and hospitality companies who are already struggling with rising costs and staff shortages.

“With international visitor numbers still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, it’s frustrating to see new disruptions that will deter much-needed domestic visitors.

“These strikes will hit our retail and leisure destinations at a time when they should make the most of our first unrestricted summer since 2019.”

Half of Britain’s railway lines will be closed during strikes on 21, 23 and 25 June by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT).

Transport for London (TfL) has also “strongly urged” people not to travel on the London Underground on 21 June due to a 24-hour walkout from RMT and Unite.

The disputes have flared up over wages, jobs and terms.

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