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High Street

Black Friday provided ‘little benefit to struggling high street’

This year’s Black Friday has done “little to help the struggling bricks-and-mortar stores throughout the UK”, according to data from Springboard.

The group, which provides insights on retail performance, said overall footfall declined by 5.4% from Black Friday 2017, with declines of similar magnitudes throughout the weekend from last year (-5.6% on Saturday and -4.3% on Sunday).

Shopping centres were the “worst hit”, with a drop in footfall of 8.3% on Friday, and drops of similar proportions over the weekend.  The firm said this is likely to be partially due to the fact that they are dominated by major chains which have a strong online presence and free delivery offering, so there is less need to visit their stores.

Diane Wehrle, insights director of Springboard said: “The drop in footfall to bricks and mortar stores over Black Friday weekend is a reflection of the larger discounts offered online.  Online is open for business 24 hours a day and is therefore seen as a more convenient option for shoppers.

“Throughout the weekend, the drop in footfall was most dramatic in shopping centres; the stronger resilience of high streets and retail parks in comparison is likely to be a function of their wider range of hospitality outlets compared with shopping centres. This illustrates that many shoppers regard Black Friday weekend as an opportunity for a day out with friends or family, which is likely to include a stop for coffee or lunch during their trip.”

She added: “Discounts continue on Cyber Monday, however, given that Black Friday discounts were made available throughout the week in advance of the day itself, and have continued over the weekend, it is likely that the impetus to make purchases will largely be over.”

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