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Footfall dips as shoppers hold out for Black Friday

Footfall to high streets and shopping centres fell last week compared with the same period last year, as shoppers waited for bargains associated with the upcoming Black Friday and pay-day weekend.

Springboard data shared exclusively with Drapers showed that, for the week beginning November 16, high street footfall was down 3.1% year on year and shopping centres fell 2.5%, while retail parks rose 1%.

However, the figures were up on the previous week, with high streets increasing 0.8%, shopping centres 2.1% and retail parks 0.4%.

“The tremendous rise in retail park footfall of the year is beginning to slow with an annual lift of 1.0%,” said Springboard’s director of retail insights Diane Wehrle.

“For the first 40 weeks of the year, retail parks saw an average annual rise of 3.0%, which has slowed to 1.1% in the past seven weeks. Footfall across all retail locations has fallen 2.1% against 2013, a further drop on the 0.4% drop recorded last year.

“Shopping centre footfall on the surface looks disappointing, with a decline of 2.5% overall and a fall across every region but the West Midlands, which rose 6.2%. The fall across most retail locations may, in part, be due to the promise of Black Friday offers across retail this week and shoppers holding off their Christmas shopping in anticipation of a bargain, which will coincide with the pay weekend.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • Consumers aren't 'waiting for black friday' per se, they are waiting to get paid. If they haven't got it, they can't spend it.

    All Black Friday achieves is throwing margin out the door as the customers would spend it anyway.

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  • darren hoggett

    The facts are that year on year footfall is failing and will continue to do so.

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  • Black Friday is not common to the UK customer... Yet. Neither was Halloween a few decades ago, so I expect it to become tradition here too.

    Why? Media is now more global and bloggers and affiliate marketing businesses will be promoting the concept.

    Reality is... this is around the last traditional pay day before Xmas. The offer of deep discounting drives footfall (and web clicks).

    Physical footfall can lead to impulse purchases. In this regard, useful for the high street.

    For fashion, it allows an extra occasion to try and clear 'winter' items that have yet to sell, before the real panic in January.

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  • darren hoggett

    It's a nonsense. People will always spend at the end of November because it is Payday. All Black Friday achieves is losing margin at a time of year when people are going to spend anyway.

    A deluded and counter productive concept that's begs the question are we in the trade to make a profit or just to win awards?

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