Retailers suffered a lacklustre January sales period this year as footfall dropped 6.6 per cent following an “exceptionally tough” 2017.
According to new data from Ipsos Retail Performance, the effects of heavy discounting on Black Friday extended through early January, shifting sales away from the traditionally solid trading period.
This reportedly marks the ninth consecutive month of falling footfall volumes, and is likely to have encouraged the swathe of job cuts announced in the beginning of the year.
London and the South East were reportedly most significantly affected, both seeing footfall plummet 12 per cent.
Heavy snowfall also dragged down the volume of shoppers on the streets in Scotland and the North, dropping 5.3 per cent.
“This month’s footfall figures confirm that it has been a slow start to the retail year, though the news is diverse across the regions,” Ipsos director of retail intelligence Dr Tim Denison said.
“It’s been well documented that market conditions were exceptionally tough last year and understandably the British public are remaining watchful as we start 2018.
“This is building an imperative for retailers to review their business models to operate differently in order to survive.”