Black Friday footfall rises across UK despite Covid restrictions

Black Friday Springboard covid-19 pandemic lockdown
Footfall rose by 4.8% across all UK retail destinations last week
// Footfall rose by 8.7% in the UK on Black Friday
// The greatest rises from the previous week were recorded in UK high streets
// Shopping centres recorded the lowest figures

New research has found that UK footfall has risen on Black Friday, which marks the first time since late August that footfall has increased in two consecutive weeks.

Footfall rose by 8.7 per cent on the shopping holiday, which is four times more than the two per cent rise recorded on Thursday, according to Springboard.

Footfall rose by 4.8 per cent across all UK retail destinations last week, which followed directly on from a rise of 5.9 per cent in the week before.


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The greatest rises from the previous week were recorded in UK high streets, which saw a 6.6 per cent rise, while retail parks recorded a 4.9 per cent increase.

However, shopping centres recorded a mere one per cent increase in footfall.

Despite the increase in footfall from the week before, it remains 56.9 per cent below the 2019 level across all UK destinations.

Not only is this the first time since late August that footfall has increased in two consecutive weeks, but the average over the two weeks of 5.4 per cent is higher than the average of 3.2 per cent over the two weeks in late August.

All retail destinations were impacted heavily by the introduction of Tier 4 restrictions across much of Scotland which led to a drop in footfall in Scotland of 19.6 per cent from the week before.

However, the impact was most heavily felt in UK shopping centres as footfall plummeted in shopping centres in Scotland by 29.7 per cent.

In contrast, footfall in shopping centres in England rose by 7.6 per cent, by 8.6 per cent in shopping centres in Wales and 4.9 per cent in shopping centres in Northern Ireland.

Wales and Northern Ireland recorded the smallest annual declines of 32.7 per cent and 33.8 per cent; although the commencement of the lockdown in Northern Ireland on Friday is expected to drag footfall.

“Footfall activity in UK retail destinations last week was clearly influenced by Black Friday, despite severe Covid restrictions across the majority of the UK which rendered it even more online focussed than in previous years,” Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said.

“For the first time since the last week of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and the bank holiday in late August, footfall in UK retail destinations rose for the second consecutive week from the week before.

“In addition, the increase in footfall on Friday was nearly double the average increase over the previous five days.

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