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Third Year of Decline For Boxing Day Footfall

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Research by Springboard has shown that footfall on Boxing Day this year for the period up to 4pm is 3.1% lower than for the same hours on Boxing Day last year.  This is a slightly smaller drop than the -3.3% in 2017 from 2016, but a greater drop than on Boxing Day in 2016 when footfall declined by 5.5% from 2015. 

Shopper numbers declined across the board.

High street footfall declined by 1.1% compared with a decline of 6.6% in 2017.

Springboard data shows that, in recent years, footfall on Boxing Day has consistently been around 10% lower than on Black Friday. As well as this, over the last few years around a third of all footfall for the day is generated by 12pm.

Part of the reason for the drop in footfall is the almost continuous discounting that has been taking place by retailers this year - particularly over the period from Black Friday onwards - which negates the reason to defer purchases to Boxing Day, although clearly this is an opportunity for consumers to pick up items at an even lower price than before Christmas.  However, many retailers offer greater discounts online than in store, which discourages shoppers to visit retail destinations and bricks and mortar stores. 

Many consumers who are visiting retail destinations on Boxing Day will be doing so as part of a wider leisure experience.  The fact that footfall in high streets has declined by just -1.1% compared with -5.0% in shopping centres and -5.3% in retail parks supports this, as high streets generally have a far wider offering of hospitality outlets so that consumers can eat out or have a coffee from a choice of venues during their trip.  The largest shopping centres do have a strong hospitality offer, but the offering in the majority of smaller and older shopping centres is limited to retail only, which means that shoppers go out of the centre into the high street to eat and drink.

Footfall rose in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Greater Manchester, with a 15% rise in London's West End, which experienced spending of £50m, according to the New West End Company.  

Source : Insight DIY and Springboard

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27 December 2018

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