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Shopper numbers set to exceed last Christmas

With two weeks to go until Christmas, shopper numbers are on track to exceed those of the same period last year according to Ipsos Retail Performance.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Shopper numbers set to exceed last Christmas

The firm's latest Retail Traffic Index shows that retail footfall from 24 November to 7 December was 1.9% higher than the equivalent weeks last year. Ipsos has found that shopper numbers have been building week-on-week since mid-November and increased by a further 5.7% in the week commencing 1 December. 

“The build-up to Christmas is mapping out very much as we had expected this year,” explained Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance. “The first fortnight of the month has been busier overall than last year, with people eager to complete much of their shopping early, hoping to avoid the strains of last minute present seeking, after a stressful year.

“Following a bonanza first week, when shoppers flew out of their blocks and into the stores, the acceleration over the second week has not been quite as strong, as some bargain hunters have been deflected on-line chasing down Black Friday offers.”

Ipsos found that the strongest year-on-year growth in the month to date was in Scotland & Northern Ireland where retail traffic has risen 11.3% up on the same fortnight last year. In contrast, the comparison is 1.8% down in Wales & The South West where last year’s numbers were boosted in the aftermath of November’s flooding.

The number of shopping trips is expected to climb again this week. Ipsos forecasts that footfall will grow by 6.5% week-on-week and that volumes will match those seen last year in the equivalent week.

Denison added: “Footfall is slightly ahead of our forecast at this point so retailers should be satisfied with the run-in so far. Every week that passes is more important than the last, so we can never be totally sure of the outcome until the doors close on Christmas Eve. Nevertheless our figures continue to indicate that Christmas will be very solid this year.”

Year-on-year footfall change: fortnight 24/11/13 – 7/12/13 vs 25/11/12 – 8/12/12

Scotland & Northern Ireland +3.0%
North of England +11.3%
The Midlands -0.4%
South West England & Wales -1.8%
London & The South East +1.9%

Week-on-week footfall change: w/c 1/12/13 vs w/c 24/11/13

Scotland & Northern Ireland +1.1%
North of England +5.4%
The Midlands +6.8%
South West England & Wales +10.4%
London & The South East +7.2%

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