Footfall drops 2.5% during crucial Christmas trading period

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Footfall drops 2.5% during crucial Christmas trading period Springboard Diane Wehrle
Footfall in the 3rd and 4th weeks of December in particular declined by 6.1% - three times worse than the 2.2% drop in the same weeks in 2018.
// UK footfall declined by 2.5% in December, according to Springboard
// Later timing of Black Friday weekend is one of the reasons, as it brought Christmas trading period forward
// High street & shopping centre footfall dropped by 3.5% & 2.1% respectively, while retail parks edged down 0.5%

Retail footfall took a hit in December as the later timing of Black Friday weekend brought the Christmas trading period forward, new data has shown.

According to retail intelligence firm Springboard, overall footfall in the UK dropped by 2.5 per cent throughout December.

Of that, high street and shopping centre footfall declined 3.5 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively, while retail parks footfall dipped 0.5 per cent.


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Springboard said the overall decline was “not a surprise” as footfall has declined in December in all but one year since 2009.

However, it said the latest drop was at the upper end of the scale of decline.

Springboard also said that the Black Friday and Cyber Monday long weekend brought Christmas trading forward, leading to a noticeable decline in footfall over the two weeks leading up to Christmas.

Its data indicated that footfall in the third and fourth weeks of December declined by 6.1 per cent.

Springboard said this was three times worse than the 2.2 per cent drop in the same weeks in the previous year.

Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said there were various reasons for the decline, “but reflect the caution and spending restraint of consumers which typifies low consumer confidence that has been ongoing for the last three years”.

She added: “Today’s rather circumspect consumer was clearly demonstrating considered restraint towards their lifestyle and spend decisions over the Christmas period.

“The growing climate change movement and increased consumer concerns around waste and sustainability is likely to have further limited trips to destinations to make non-essential purchases, thereby diluting footfall even further.”

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