Lockdown 2: remaining different to lockdown 1 (we 13th November 2020)

12th November

Last week (week ending 13th November) mobility remained flat week on week at 69% according to data from our mobile partner Three, versus the pre lockdown baseline of 100, as the nation adjusts to new regulations. There are variances in England, Scotland and Wales where different lockdown measures have been in place. The average Mobility in England is 69.17, in Scotland 74.21 and in Wales (which has faced the most stringent measures) 46.15. It is worth noting that Mobility is currently at the same level as it was when non-essential retails stores reopened (we.18.06.20).

The chart below shows the weekly mobility index from March to date, showcasing the effect of the latest restrictions, and also how this compares to mobility during the first lockdown in March

This is mirrored in recent DfT data with the rolling 7 day road traffic at  77% of pre-COVID levels (as it was in mid-June) as opposed to the lows of c.30% during the March lockdown, as we see millions of people are on the move every day across the UK

Mobility levels at a regional level also remain flat overall, with only small decreases of around 1% in all regions with the exception of Wales.  In Wales, as they have lifted their lockdown restrictions, we have seen a significant increase of +16 percentage point to 46.4% mobility.  And within Wales itself there are significant variations in mobility, with mobility level increases as high as +32 percentage points in Ceredigion and an average of +14% across other areas.

London sees a minor decrease of 1% to 59% mobility, with the most significant changes in Merton (-2.2%) and Bromley (-2%). Inner London locations, home to large workplace hubs, sees the smallest decrease in mobility. With most workers that are able to work from home already doing so prior to the lockdown, there is little change in circumstances.  The boroughs with the highest number of workplaces such as City of London, Camden and Westminster experienced only a -0.5% decrease.

During the time of lockdown, Supermarkets have thrived, with Lidl, Aldi and Co-op all announcing plans for significant expansion this year bringing an estimated 3,200 new jobs to local communities. Last week’s mobility data demonstrates that the latest lockdown restrictions have had little effect on Supermarket activity levels, with mobility levels of 82% (Google mobility data), higher than the previous two week (before lockdown) as shoppers continue to invest 90% of their grocery spend in-store (ONS data).  In the run up to Christmas, where we see a significant increase in spend, OOH Point of Sale will remain a valuable platform particularly for FMCG brands.

With reports of a vaccine on the horizon and the efficacy of fire-break lockdowns proven in Wales, the FTSE 250 has rallied to its highest point since before the lockdown signifying the growing confidence in a pending recovery.  Whilst Clear Channel’s Pulse of the Nation reflects what people are thinking, planning and doing in light of the new restrictions.  Response to the survey, asked immediately after the UK Governments announcement, about their thoughts on November’s restrictions and Christmas, revealed 63% agree they will do their best to support local business during this time, 57% are thinking about Christmas purchases, with 43% planning to start gift purchasing in November, and 78% will continue to move about responsibly, abiding by government rules.

As we settle into the midst of this lockdown ‘light’, we are continuing to see mobility levels 14% higher than during the March lockdown providing us with over 1.5 billion roadside impacts still on the market to reach consumers in the coming weeks.