Footfall down 3.4% for November after “winter washout”

Year-on-year retail footfall down 3.4% for November after “winter washout”
November footfall drops year-on-year as shoppers delayed spending.
// High street footfall fell the furthest for November, down 4.3%
// Springboard’s results did not include Black Friday figures
// Shoppers held off spending in November until Black Friday kicked in

Springboard has described November’s footfall figures as a “winter washout” after visits to shops fell 3.4 per cent in November.

That’s down from last year’s 3.2 per cent decline, although the figures were exacerbated further by not including the results from Black Friday since this occurred outside of the monthly trading period.

READ MORE: Slow retail sales for November as shoppers held off for Black Friday

Springboard’s monthly results found heavy rain impacted footfall in the second half of the month.

High street footfall was hit the hardest, down 4.3 per cent after a 3.8 per cent decline last year.

Retail park footfall was down 1.8 per cent on the back of a 1.4 per cent fall in November 2018.

Meanwhile, shopping centre footfall fell 3 per cent after a 3.8 decrease last year.

“Whilst the heavy rain will have deterred many shoppers from making trips to retail destinations, the poor footfall in the second half of the month will have been exacerbated by the proximity of Black Friday discounts,” Springboard marketing and insights director Diane Wehrle said.

“Alerts arriving on a regular basis into consumers’ inboxes in the run up to Black Friday enabled consumers to watch the retail market easily and identify the depth and spread of discounts being offered.

“If they weren’t already planning on doing so, this will have led to many consumers pulling back on trips to destinations causing a spending freeze over the last two weeks of the month in anticipation of big discounts on current stock.”

Springboard added it was likely customers had been saving up their shopping for the Black Friday promotions – this year much closer to Christmas than usual, due to the date US Thanksgiving fell on.

“The fact that the Black Friday weekend also started on payday heightened the chances of a spending spree which took place after the month had ended,” Wehrle said.

“This pent up demand is clearly evident from the fact that footfall in the last week of the month in shopping centres dropped by 5.2 per cent, more than in high streets and retail parks.

“Having the greatest concentration of retailers heavily promoting discounts, it was not surprising that it was in shopping centres where footfall increased most over Black Friday.”

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