Footfall expected to decline year-on-year in run-up to Christmas
Retailers have been warned to expect a challenging run-up to the festive season with footfall predicted to decline year-on-year.
According to MRI Software (formerly Springboard), the number of visits across UK retail destinations will fall by 3.2% on a month-to-month basis in September to mark the largest drop since January 2023.
It also forecasts a decline of 0.1% in October and footfall remaining flat from October to November before an increase of 5.1% from November to December. While the predicted 5.1% rise will represent the largest month-on-month uplift in 2023, it remains below the increase in footfall of 5.8% in 2022.
Meanwhile, for September to December, MRI predicts that footfall in shopping centres will average 0.3% below the 2022 level versus -1.7% in high streets. With footfall in retail parks expected to edge up 0.9%, this means there would be an overall decline in UK retail footfall of 0.7% for the period.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at MRI Software, said: “With this additional financial burden for so many consumers just over the horizon, MRI Software anticipates that this will curtail consumers’ propensity to shop. It is forecast that spending pressure will start to bite from September onwards, with drops in footfall from month-to-month over the three months from September to November, only increasing from November to December in the run up to Christmas.”
Following Black Friday, MRI predicts that the rise in footfall from November to December will result in a 6.5% footfall increase in retail parks and a 10% uplift in shopping centres. However, it expects the number of visits to high streets to rise by just 2%.
Wehrle added: “The largest hit on footfall will be felt by high streets, which is generally the case in the run up to Christmas as shoppers head to larger shopping centres and retail parks which lure shoppers through a wide range of brands in large stores in a single destination.”
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