Jan 12, 2022
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Post-Christmas retail footfall weak but January confidence is returning - Ipsos

Jan 12, 2022

Christmas cheer was certainly over by Boxing Day when it came to the desire to shop, with UK retail footfall in the following week described as a “washout”.

Photo: Nigel Taylor

But with Omicron concerns diminishing, “retailers are starting to see consumer confidence return", with footfall falling less in January than in December on 2019 figures, a report from Ipsos shows.

“Over recent months Ipsos MORI’s Covid-19 trends research has shown that shopping is towards the top of the list of activities the public is comfortable doing, with 78% and 74% of the public either ‘back to normal’ or ‘comfortable’ shopping in supermarkets and other shops respectively,” its report said.

And that “washout” was reflected in the figures that showed footfall fell by 30.1% in Boxing Day week compared to 2019, and were down 21.6% in the first week of January compared to the same period.

This was partly driven by a very weak Boxing Day itself, with footfall down 49.8% compared to 2019.

When compared to the final week of 2021, high streets, shopping centres and retail parks all saw a more positive start to the year, with footfall improving compared to 2019 across all destination types, the report noted.

However, there were performance differences by region. London continued to struggle to attract shoppers, with footfall 30% lower in the first week of January compared to the same period in 2019.

However, city centres in the North of England appear to be bouncing back the quickest, with footfall across Yorkshire and Humber, the North East and the North West all higher than the current national average of -21.6%.

Ipsos added: “Retailers will be hoping that despite a recent surge in Covid case numbers, the vaccine booster programme will help maintain consumer confidence.”

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