UK shopper numbers improve in August, narrowing gap on pre-pandemic level

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FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks shop inside a clothing store, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London

LONDON (Reuters) - The number of shoppers hitting Britain's high streets, shopping centres and retail parks continued to improve in August, with the gap on the same month in 2019 reducing to -18.6% from -24.2% in July, footfall data compiled by Springboard showed.

Footfall in central London, which has been hit by an absence of foreign tourists and a reduced numbers of commuters, was 38% below the 2019 level, Springboard said on Thursday, considerably better than -50.4% recorded in July.

In large cities outside of the capital, the improvement in footfall in August was nearly double that in smaller high streets, putting them at a comparable level versus 2019 for the first time, Springboard said.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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