Although not-so-orderly queues for Selfridges’ Boxing Day sales began forming around 10.30pm on Christmas Day (the earliest time ever to be recorded) and Harrods’ Boxing Day customers were adorned with a red carpet and complimentary pastries and drinks, overall footfall was lower than expected for the post Christmas day sale bonanza.
According to figures released by retail analyst Springboard, footfall on the morning of Boxing Day showed a “significant” year on year drop in bargain-hunter numbers. This was across all retail formats, with a particularly marked footfall decline of 21.7% experienced at high street locations in the first shopping hour of the day.
Perhaps all those missing shoppers were busy indulging at the Lodge, an alternative winter destination bought to consumers by luxury department store Fortnum and Mason (found in The Christmas Arcade at Somerset House). Serving guests a place to eat, drink and skate, the Lodge takes customers from day to night, transforming into a bar come dusk when it adds spiked hot chocolate, mulled cider, vermouths, schnapps, and more, to its offering.
It is more likely though, that the severe weather warnings and a surge in ecommerce had a part to play in the lower number of shoppers this year. According to Postcode Anywhere, the ‘Big Data Lab’ offering real-time racking of Britain’s online spending, 47% more online transactions were made online compared to 2013 and many an order was placed on Christmas Day itself, with 25% more Brits than last year doing so.
Postcode Anywhere recorded that Black Friday was in fact, the busiest shopping day of 2014. After a month of heavy promotions, many UK consumers were all shopped out.
Jamie Turner, co-founder of Postcode Anywhere, commented:
‘’Over the Christmas shopping period, our data showed that more shoppers than ever were logging on to secure the best deals. Black Friday was the busiest ecommerce shopping day on record and records continued to fall throughout December after this initial peak.”