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Post-Christmas footfall slumps after Boxing Day frenzy

After a huge surge in shopper numbers on the first day of clearance sales, the latest research shows retail footfall slumped backwards yesterday.

Overall footfall was up 21.5 per cent year-on-year on Boxing Day, according to data analyst group Experian, but despite the following day seeing even greater numbers hit the high street, compared to the same day last year the volumes were actually down.

Yesterday saw a 37.3 per cent increase in shoppers compared to the previous day but a significant boost was also recorded at the same point in 2010, and on a year-on-year basis footfall declined 0.7 per cent on December 27th.

Retailers hoping the new year will bring a boost to trading look set to be disappointed, with industry analysts SAS and Verdict predicting for 2012 the third lowest growth in retail expenditure in the last 40 years.

Continued pressures on household finances will mean overall retail spend will rise 1.2 per cent in total during the year, with all of that growth coming courtesy of a 3.3 per cent jump in grocery expenditure.

Spending outside the food sector is expected to fall by 0.5 per cent next year, equating to a £9.5 billion drop in non-food expenditure since the recession in 2008.

Maureen Hinton, practice lead, Verdict said “The first three months of 2012 will be the most difficult period for retailers as consumers cut back severely after the expensive Christmas period.

“Conditions will ease slightly with events such as Easter, the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics improving consumer sentiment, but overall confidence will still be low.

“Real improvement and growth are only likely from October onwards when, as long as the weather is seasonably cold, consumer will be driven to buy seasonal essentials before the end of the winter retail season in December and get back into the Christmas spirit.”

Source : Jon Whiteaker – Retail Gazette

27 December 2011
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