High Street

Footfall drops in lead-up to Christmas trading period

Footfall dropped by 0.1% during the second week December, according to the latest figures from Springboard.

However, the drop appears marginal compared with the decline in footfall in the same week last year when snow and ice swept the UK on Sunday shutting roads and transport hubs, creating difficulties until late in the week.

When compared, the uplift from 2017 in the first part of last week was up 26.3% on Sunday and up 6.6% on Monday. By late in the week, however, circumstances last year returned to normal and in comparison, footfall dropped on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this year.

Footfall was particularly weak on Saturday this year due to the onset of Storm Deidre, which brought driving rain to most of the country and snow in some parts. On Sunday, footfall partially recovered, although still recording a decline in shopping centres.

Performance varied across destination types over the week, with high streets and retail parks in positive territory, whilst in shopping centres footfall once again declined (by -1.8%) due to poorer results between Monday and Friday and on Sunday.

The analysts forecast a continued decline in footfall over the next week which is predicted to be a drop 3.5% (a decline of -3.2% in high streets, -2.8% in retail parks and -4.8% in shopping centres).

A statement from Springboard read: “This is broadly in line with the declines in footfall already seen in December this year and is significantly greater than the -1% drop in footfall in the same week last year.  We are anticipating that the peak shopping day of the week will be

“Friday rather than Saturday when footfall will dip slightly. This is a pattern that Springboard has recorded over a number of years when Christmas day is in the first half of the week as it is this year; consumers generally use the weekend as part of the Christmas break, for travelling and for visiting family and friends.”

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