Jan 2, 2023
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Post-Xmas footfall can't match prior week as clearance sales start - Springboard

Jan 2, 2023

Is it post-Christmas shopping fatigue or a sign purses and wallets are snapping tightly shut? UK retail footfall plummeted 27.7% last week (25-31 December) compared to the seven days leading up to Christmas Day, according to visitor traffic expert Springboard.

Image: Nigel TAYLOR

Although unsurprising, given the usual previous week’s rush to shop for gifts, the latest week does traditionally mark the beginning of the post-Christmas sales/clearance period so the decline was disappointing.

At least footfall was 7.2% up on the same week in 2021 when Covid overshadowed festivities.

The gap from the 2019 level last week was -19.7%, although much of this was a consequence of the date offset, the report noted .

Footfall on Boxing Day 2022 was 38.8% higher than 2021 but 18.2% lower than in 2019

Footfall rose by 36.6% from Boxing Day to 27 December, with a greater uplift in retail parks and shopping centres than in high streets (+63.8% in retail parks and +45.4% in shopping centres vs +19.7% in high streets).

Footfall on 28 December increased 6.7% from 27 December and it rose 13.4% from 28 December to 29 December. But it dropped away on 30 December by 2.6% from the day before.

On New Year's Eve, footfall fell a bigger 14.8% day-on-day.

Meanwhile, over the six days from Boxing Day, footfall was 16.3% higher than on the same dates in 2021.

There were double-digit rises on each day other than on 31 December when footfall was just 1.9% higher than the same day in 2021.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: “What is significant — and what has been an emerging trend for several years — is that footfall on 27 December 2022 was higher than on Boxing Day.

She said this demonstrates that while Boxing Day is something of a marker in the annual retail calendar, “the key dates for retail spending are now the subsequent days when consumers are likely to have completed visits with family and friends and have time to make trips out”.

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