Bloomberg’s latest Pret Index reveals that sales in the City, London suburbs and the West End were all down in the week ending 17 March; the downturn coinciding with an upturn in Covid-19 infections in the UK, which are at the highest level since January.
Pret's transactions in the City and Canary Wharf are still near a pandemic high at 86% of pre-Covid-19 levels, indicating that the lunch hour there is returning to normal after banks began bringing workers back to their desks. While in the West End, sales are now higher than they were before the crisis.
The decline also comes as sales at London’s airports rise, suggesting more residents have resumed traveling abroad for business and leisure as restrictions are removed.
At 93% of pre-Covid-levels, the performance in airports is the best this year and is only slightly lower than the pandemic high set in late December, when some people traveled abroad for the holidays.
Meanwhile, sales in London train stations returned to a pandemic high set in November and are just 1% away from being entirely back to normal.
The Index says that sales in London’s entertainment and shopping district could benefit from London’s warming weather this week as more residents venture into town to shop and dine.