Christmas trading continued to be affected by the bad weather in the UK last week but sales did improve on the first week in December, according to new data.
Global market research company Synovate published its latest Retail Traffic Index today, which showed footfall up 15 per cent week-on-week for the seven days ending December 11th but down seven per cent year-on-year for the same period.
Footfall decreased 14.5 per cent compared to the first week in December 2009, and it is hoped that an increase in internet sales will soften the blow of a quiet high street so far this month.
Tim Denison, Director of Retail at Synovate Retail Performance, commented: “These latest RTI figures reflect that last week more people were able to get out to the shops to begin Christmas shopping in earnest as weather conditions generally eased around the country.”
“It was a ‘bitter, sweet’ week though; although the volumes of shopping trips were far stronger than the week before, they were still significantly down on the corresponding week of 2009. We’re about a week behind where we were last year on the high streets.”
Synovate predicts that sales for this week will continue to grow, rising nine per cent on last week, and despite a return to snow for much of the country the deficit on retail trade from last year will decrease again.
The week has reportedly started strongly and on Sunday 12th December the gap against last year’s traffic on the corresponding Sunday closed to a deficit of 4.4 per cent.
Denison added: “The slow burn Christmas continues. The wick is steadily being turned up, and, we expect this will continue over the coming week.”