Live data shows impact Coronavirus is having on European businesses

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Purple has billions of presence footfall data, 155 million users in over 185 countries and their expert data scientist team has constructed visual models of the impact that Coronavirus has had on footfall across European industries. 

Due to the pandemic, Purple have decided to make their data available to all who wish to see, enabling people, businesses and economists to track the real-time impact COVID-19 is having on all industries across the globe.

The enterprise-class analytics and wayfinding business have been working tirelessly to collate all their information into a visual demonstration of how Coronavirus is affecting retail spaces across Europe.

How big is the impact in Europe? 

Figure 1 represents the overall visitor % decrease in retail stores across Europe, the data then proceeds to drill down and segment further by showing the impact it has had on some largest countries in Europe; Germany, United Kingdom, and Spain.

Demonstration of the impact of COVID-19 on European
 Figure 1. European retail visits last 30 days

The above graph highlights the pattern of natural peaks and troughs during the course of a week, with the weekend seeing the most visits, as expected.

Data from Figure 1 shows that during the weekend of 14th/15th there was a swift decline as opposed to the usual increase you’d expect to see. 

Coronavirus during this weekend began to take a much larger impact with many European countries going into lockdown and citizens being told to avoid public places or any “mass gatherings” 

Figure 2.Visits over a 10 day period (European retail)

Figure 2 showcases the data for last 10 days, the period in which countries began taking more serious measures in order to protect its citizens, we see a phenomenal decline around 9th March.

This coincides with the quarantine and lockdown of the nation of Italy, which has created a large domino effect across the continent, prompting other countries to follow suit, some stricter than others.

We can see an unnatural trend in the above chart with a huge 67% decrease in traffic into retail stores compared to just 10 days ago, highlighting the seriousness of the situation for smaller businesses.


Figure 3. The decrease in visitors (Spanish retail) 

Figure 3 collates footfall data from a ten-week period to show the decrease in traffic during the early stages of coronavirus in Europe, through to its current global pandemic stage.

Spain declared a state of emergency for its residents which has caused an approximate 30% decrease in such a short period of time and with this being enforced for the next 15 days minimum, it’s expected to see a further decrease.  


Figure 4. The decrease in visitors (German retail) 

Figure 4 indicates that Germany has seen a more gradual decrease in visitors to retail stores, compared to the country of Spain.

This may suggest differences in measures taken by each nation’s government and the seriousness of which its citizens headed their government’s advice. 

As of March 16th, Germany closed its borders to neighboring countries, in which we expect to see a continuous downward trend. Much like the above graph illustrates.

United Kingdom 

Figure 5. UK retail footfall data

UK retail data shown in Figure 5 differs from the other countries to reflect the differences in the respective countries’ “pandemic timeline” with the UK taking measures at a different time than others.

The above graph illustrates how retail footfall and consumers are down by approximately 50% with the most noticeable decrease beginning from 10th March until today.

The likelihood of this occurrence is the UK government’s decision to increase the measures it would take to ensure the safety and well-being of its citizens.

The United Kingdom has since taken further action by strongly encouraging social distancing and imposing self-isolation on those who have been into contact with others and are yet to show symptoms and now schools are closing. 

We expect to see an even greater decline in retail visitors over the forthcoming weeks.

Restaurant visitors down by 78% in March across Europe

Figure 6. Percentage decline in restaurant visitors across Europe (Average)

Retail isn’t the only industry being heavily affected by the current situation, restaurants are another industry that’s suffering. 

Already since the start of March, you begin to see the clear impact that COVID-19 is having with an average decrease across the continents, approximately 24%.

Although it must be taken into account that countries have imposed different measures at contrasting times, respective of the severity of the pandemic. 

As the month continues and comes to an end, we expect to see a much higher rate than above.

Figure 7. UK decrease in restaurant visitors 

The data from the UK most noticeably shows the two large dips in the trend line, first on March 2nd and then March 10th.

The trend has continued throughout the month leaving UK restaurants with 78% less custom.

Figure 8. Belgium restaurants visits 

Belgium in comparison to previous months has seen a 71% decrease in footfall traffic in restaurants. 

Although in Belgium restaurants are not popular on Sundays and most are shut, our historical data shows an obvious increase on Monday and Tuesday, which is not seen this week.

This is likely to decrease even further as from Wednesday 18th March, Belgium has entered a countrywide lockdown, this is to remain enforced until April 5th.