New figures: footfall on Christmas key trading days disappoints
The figures provided by Springboard reveal that footfall rose by 2% on 23 December from 22 December. However, footfall was down 5.5% compared to the same day in 2015 and on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day the number of shoppers fell by 5.9% and 7.3% respectively year-on-year.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “Though Christmas Eve is not necessarily the busiest day for trading, retailers do expect to see shoppers out to make some last-minute purchases, bolstered this year by the fact that it fell on a Saturday. However, this year footfall was down 5.9% for Christmas Eve, though it is a key day for consumers to travel to their Christmas destination which may hinder footfall.
“The results for Christmas Eve did however reflect the wider trend we have seen this year, that is for a decline in footfall across all retail destinations but a modest bounce back on the High Street. Even the peak trading day of 23 December saw a drop in footfall from 23 December last year of 5.5%.”
The biggest contributors to the decreased footfall on Boxing Day were shopping centres where there was a decline of 19.9%. The poor performance came despite the dry and bright weather across the country.
In contrast, data from PCA Predict shows that online transactions on Boxing Day were up 6.2% year-on-year.
For the rest of this week to 31 December, Springboard is forecasting a drop in footfall of 2.3% from the same period last year.
Wehrle said: “Though retailers will be pleased that online sales have helped temper the decrease in bricks and mortar sales over the Christmas trading period, Springboard are predicting that the decline in footfall will continue for the rest of the week.
“We expect that most consumers who venture out this week will be doing so for leisure as opposed to shopping, thus giving the high street the edge as it able to service the consumer demand for bars, restaurants and coffee shops.”
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