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Shoppers step up a gear as Christmas trading begins brightly

A study tracking footfall in non-food stores in the run-up to Christmas has revealed that shoppers have been coming out in force earlier this year.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Shoppers step up a gear as Christmas trading begins brightly

In the week commencing 24 November the Retail Traffic Index, compiled by Ipsos Retail Performance, stood 4.4% higher than the same week last year and 12.5% higher than the previous week.

“As we had forecast, Christmas shoppers leapt out of their blocks earlier this year,” said Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance. “After such a wearing year, consumers are keener than ever to reduce the normal Christmas stresses and strains. This has manifest itself in the way they are putting extra effort into planning and early preparation for the festive period including doing some early Christmas shopping. Retailers are also playing their part by offering early bird bargains.”

Ipsos found that all UK regions saw strong week-on-week acceleration in footfall growth. Wales & The South West was the only region not to record year-on-year growth during the week, following on from its weaker performance in November.

Denison added: “With another three weeks to go to Christmas Day we are slightly ahead of where we expected to be at this stage of December. This strong start confirms that we are on target to see year-on-year growth in retail footfall in December for the first month in 2013, which would be a real fillip to retailers going into 2014. To stay ahead of forecast footfall needs to expand by another 6% this week as we head closer to peak trading before Christmas.”

Year-on-year footfall change: w/c 24/11/13 vs w/c 25/11/12

Scotland & Northern Ireland +13.4%
North of England +7.3%
The Midlands +2.5%
South West England & Wales -2.7%
London & The South East +3.8%

Week-on-week footfall change: w/c 24/11/13 vs w/c 17/11/13

Scotland & Northern Ireland +15.4%
North of England +13.3%
The Midlands +12.3%
South West England & Wales +9.9%
London & The South East +12% 

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