Springboard: ‘challenging’ Christmas & New Year trading for bricks-and-mortar stores

Retail footfall dropped ‘significantly’ on New Year’s Eve across the UK, declining by -10.5% over the 24 hours and by -7.2% between 7pm and midnight, according to the latest data from Springboard.

The retail expert said this performance followed drops in footfall on Boxing Day (-4.5%) and from December 27 to December 30 (-2.3%). Over this four-day period, retail parks remained the most resilient with footfall declining by -1.7%, against drops of -1.9% in high streets and -3.8% in shopping centres.

Footfall recovered on New Year’s Day, rising by 16.8% from New Year’s Day last year. However, Springboard noted that part of this uplift was due to the fact that New Year’s Day fell on Monday this year. Despite the surge in footfall from last year, the rise of 16.8% was not as great as the drop of -23.8% on New Year’s Day last year – resulting in an overall drop of -7% over the two-year period as a whole.

Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said: “The drop in footfall on New Year’s Eve was unexpected – particularly the magnitude of the decline. Last year footfall rose on New Year’s Eve, but this was a response to a significant drop in 2015 which saw severe weather conditions. It was against this backdrop that it was anticipated that footfall would rise modestly. The mitigating factor may have been the wind and rain that was evident earlier in the day – from Storm Dylan – which could have led consumers to change plans. However, the weather had mainly cleared up by the early evening.”

She continued: “Overall the Christmas and New Year trading period was challenging for bricks-and-mortar stores, with noticeably lower footfall than last year. In part this is a reflection of caution amongst consumers, but it’s also a function of underlying structural shifts in consumers’ shopping habits due to online activity, and the fact that spending is spread across a wider range of products than ever before, which is increasingly encompassing leisure experiences rather than purely physical goods.”

Springboard provides automated footfall monitoring services for a range of customer-generating environments including the UK’s high streets, retail parks and shopping centres.


Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle

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