Footfall down 5% as shoppers wait it out for final Christmas discounts

Footfall down 5% as shoppers wait for final Christmas discounts
Shoppers hold out for Super Saturday.
// Shoppers stay away from UK retail destinations as they hold out for discounts
// Super Saturday will bring 10% year-on-year rise in visits
// Black Friday “confounded expectations”

New results from Springboard found footfall across UK retail destinations fell 0.9 per cent last week and five per cent year-on-year.

Shoppers held off visiting stores in person from December 8 to 14, after a Black Friday that had “confounded expectations”.

READ MORE: Footfall down 3.4% for November after “winter washout”

This year’s drop comes in sharp contrast to the same week last year, when footfall rose by 3.4 per cent from the week before and declined just 0.1 per cent.

“The clear distinction is the success of Black Friday; whilst footfall dropped on Black Friday last year by 5.4 per cent this year it rose by 3.3 per cent which effectively removed the head of steam that had built for Christmas shopping,” Springboard said.

Insights diretor Diane Wehrle said: “We are not surprised that footfall has not increased over the last week, as it follows a Black Friday success that confounded expectations.

“Consumers clearly took advantage of early discounts to purchase Christmas presents, and are now waiting for discounts to deepen once again in the days immediately before Christmas as retailers do their best to shift unsold stock.”

Looking ahead to the last week of shopping before Christmas, Springboard said footfall was anticipated to peak on Super Saturday, which this year falls on Saturday December 21.

It’s thought footfall will rise 10 per cent higher than the previous Saturday, and up three per cent year-on-year, although this appears as a particularly strong gain on the back of a 4.4 per cent drop last year.

The overall results for Super Saturday is still a drop of 1.4 per cent when compared to 2017’s results.

“Super Saturday is once again expected to be the peak Christmas trading day, although with Monday and Tuesday still offering consumers opportunities to purchase last minute gifts, its success will be more muted than if Christmas were landing on Monday or Tuesday when purchasing opportunities post Saturday would be more limited,” Wehrle said.

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