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Springboard survey shows shoppers are delaying Christmas spending

People shopping centre escalator - IR Stone - shutterstock_237523528 725 x 500

As this week’s footfall dips across the country, UK retailers are holding their breath for shoppers to make a last dash to the stores on Thursday and Friday to help boost performance ahead of post-Christmas sales.

Springboard’s data shows year on year, footfall has declined –7.7% for the week to date. This is believed to be influenced by the extra trading days ahead of Christmas this year; shoppers are deferring their present buying to the last possible moments with the extra time.  

Consequently, the week on week increase of +13.1% is much lower than the +22% increase on the same four days in 2015  though last year, this period included December 23rd,which traditionally is the busiest day of the festive season.  

Retailers are setting their sights on the 23rd to drive shoppers to retail destinations and although Christmas Eve will see the last purchases through the tills, footfall is traditionally 20% lower compared with 23rd December, as people use the day for travelling to their Christmas destinations.

Whilst online spending continues to rise, the pace of its increase has slowed this year; it has increased by +30.3% from the same days in 2015 compared with +74.5% between 2014 and 2015. 

Diane Wehrle, Springboard Insights Director says: “Footfall results to date show an edge of caution amongst shoppers this Christmas. Shoppers are taking advantage of the two extra trading days this week, using the time to make more considered purchases and as a result, spending has been delayed. The slow in online transactions confirms shoppers’ caution and suggests they may be holding out for Boxing Day bargains.

“We anticipate this week’s footfall to increase today [Thursday 22nd December] and reach its peak on Friday 23rd December. Given the week’s performance is already tracking at -7.7% on 2015, overall it is likely to be lower than last year. A drop in footfall is not surprising; it is consistent with the long-term trend, given the growth in online. However, the dampening of online transactions’ growth suggests consumer spend is more widely spread than purely retail, reflecting the broadening of our choices and the growth of the hospitality sector.

The first post-Brexit Christmas will be a learning experience for the retail industry as we observe how shoppers engage with leisure and retail following a tumultuous few months for the economy.”

Image : IR Stone / shutterstock 237523528 

Source : Springboard 

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22 December 2016

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