Christmas month starts slowly for UK stores as footfall falters

Black Friday may have been expected to deliver a major boost to UK fashion stores but not only did it not do that, the race to buy online and general consumer caution meant that early December was weak too.


Christmas is in full swing at retail destinations but footfall is slow


Springboard said Tuesday that footfall at all destinations in the first real week of Christmas trading rose only 1% compared to the previous seven days. The week starting November 27 was slow despite the equivalent period a year ago having risen 3.2%. And with the week’s year-on-year footfall down 3.1%, retailers were virtually back at the eve they’d been in November 2015.

For the first Christmas trading week post-Black Friday, unsurprisingly Retail Parks were the most resilient with footfall increasing by 1.7% from the prior week and declining by just 0.3% compared to 2016.
 
It was the UK high streets that suffered the most though with only a 0.3% week-on-week rise and a large 4.5% drop year-on-year.

Shopping Centres recorded the largest uplift in footfall from the previous week, at 2.1%, as stores ramped up their Christmas activities, but footfall was down 2.6% on the year.

Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights Director at Springboard said: ‘These results are likely to be driven by the surge in click and collect following the Black Friday Weekend and Cyber Monday, evidence why the retail parks are seeming to buck the UK high streets slowdown”.

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