By 3pm, footfall in the town centre was up 159% compared to last week, and only 28% less than the same Monday from 2019.
That means nearly 10,000 people were passing through the town centre yesterday afternoon,using and supporting shops, pubs and cafes that have not been able to trade for over four months.
Heather Allen co-ordinator of the BID for Bognor Regis, attributed that success to the resilience and adaptability of Bognor’s local businesses, with T-Bone Burger, Syup’s Cafe and The William Hardwicke just a few of the establishments to develop or improve outdoor seating.
Ms Allen also pointed out that the town centre’s occupancy rate has actually increased since previous audit carried out in February. 90% of the ground floor business units in the town centre are now occupied, according to current statistics, as well as 86% across the entire BID area.
She said: “The last official figures showed that 13.7% of all shops in the UK were empty in the last 3 months of 202, so when you look at the whole of the BID area, we’re in line with the national picture. However, the figures for the town centre area, which includes London Road, The Arcade, High Street, Queensway and Station Road, are really positive.”
Ms Allen attributed this success to the strong mix of retail, non-retail and independent businesses operating in town, as well as the slew of new businesses- like Mitchell’s Travel on London Road and Little Piggies Cafe on Bedford Street- opening or in the process of opening in the town centre.
She said: “Bognor Regis continues to be a great place to operate and the variety of businesses show that it’s a great place to get everything you need and love, locally. We want all of our businesses to be fully open as soon as possible... and to stay that way! So please all enjoy all the benefits of shopping local to keep our lovely town vibrant, whilst continuing to follow the hands, space and fresh air precautions designed to prevent another wave of Covid.”