Footfall for Black Friday (November 24) is set to dip -0.6% year-on-year across high streets, retail parks and shopping centres for the first time since Black Friday became an established key trading day in 2013, according to Springboard.
The retail intelligence company attributes its forecast drop to ‘the increasing constraints on household budgets, from rising inflation and the recent interest rate rise. Increasing to 0.5% in November, this latest impact, resulting in higher mortgage costs, has caused consumers to be even more cautious and tighten purse strings. The most recent consumer price index inflation figure was 3% for September and the cost of living has been running above the target of 2% for most of this year.’
Traditionally Black Friday (the payday weekend) has signalled the start of the Christmas shopping season, with consumers purchasing big ticket items and electrical goods. But Springboard warns that the economic climate means the trend could see a shift this year.
Springboard marketing and insights director Diane Wehrle said: “As well as consumers being more cautious with their spending habits due to inflation and interest rates rises, sales have also already started – so there is no big moment in the lead up to Black Friday. This will certainly affect footfall across the country for the Black Friday Weekend. “Consumers simply won’t be as eager to spend, because they have less money in their pockets, and have already been spoilt for choice. Unusually, retailers have run sales in the last few months, outside the traditional discount periods.”
But Springboard added that despite the drop in footfall year-on-year, retailers are optimistic that footfall will increase 18% week-on-week on Black Friday compared with the previous week (Friday November 17).
High streets are expected to come out on top, with Springboard predicting a 20% rise in footfall week-on-week. This double digit growth is representative of a consistent pattern that the retail market has seen over the last three years in the week leading to Black Friday Weekend.
Springboard marketing and insights director Diane Wehrle