New figures from Springboard show that footfall in shops rose by 2% year-on-year on Black Friday (November 25).
According to the retail intelligence specialist, the increase was in contrast to a forecasted drop of 5%.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “The results from Black Friday itself were very surprising, highlighting the fact that Black Friday is still an evolving shopping day in the UK.”
On Friday itself, footfall in high streets rose by 2.8% while retail park and shopping centre footfall edged up 0.8% and 1.4% respectively.
Springboard said the unexpected increase was due to a lower than predicted rise in online purchasing, which grew by just 6.7% against Black Friday last year. This compares with a forecast of 25% and a rise of 31% in 2015.
Saturday showed a slight fall in footfall overall, which was down by 0.8% compared with the same Saturday last year. However, high street footfall rose by 1.2% year-on-year. Meanwhile, footfall declined by 4.4% in shopping centres and by 1.3% in retail parks.
Springboard said the drop in shopping centre footfall reflected the fact that many of the retailers in shopping centres are multiples, which also have a strong online presence and offer shoppers an opportunity to shop from the comfort of their sofa.
Diane commented that shopping from home tends to be an attractive option if centres do not have a range of appeal beyond pure retail that entices customers out (such as restaurants) and opportunities for leisure (such as cinemas) “which are now in greater demand as part of a shopping trip”.