Despite storms battering the country in February, it was evident that consumers were determined to embrace the call to learn to live with Covid-19 as retail footfall across the UK moved closer to pre-virus levels. Our finance activity also reflected the trend as MotoNovo finished the month with an all-time record performance.

It was so encouraging to see that retail footfall saw the highest number of shoppers since pre-pandemic levels in the last week of the month, according to the British Retail Consortium. While the retail data is primarily focused on High Street, shopping centres and retail parks, the final week trends reported were mirrored precisely in our activity. For context, the UK's retail footfall led the top 5 European markets' footfall recovery.

Over recent months at MotoNovo, we have completed a tremendous amount of work that I've no doubt contributed to our record performance. We concluded a project to improve acceptance levels, launched our business strategy focusing on an all-new target operating model designed to create better ways of working and saw some impressive business successes, welcoming several new dealers and brokers. Looking ahead, there is more positive news in the pipeline. For this, I must recognise the dedication of our fantastic team; thank you one and all.

However, looking beyond the activities we control, my instinct is that the increase in footfall is about something more human.

I sense we have seen a genuine desire for togetherness. People are pleased to be out and about and working to create the new normal that has been referenced widely. We see from the huge uplift in face-to-face contact dealers are pleased to see us, and all the feedback from customers reflects similar views.

While there are certainly plenty of challenges economically and on a global level,  politically, it appears  normal personal contact has gained in popularity. I echo the support for this trend. I was delighted to meet, talk and listen to our team face-to-face for the first time in a very long time as we re-started our Town Hall gatherings in person. MS Teams has been an enormous help and will continue to feature prominently, but for me, face-to-face with its total engagement is always going to be my preferred option.

Karl Werner, Managing Director 

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