Winter washout puts the freeze on shopping, says Springboard

Retail footfall declined by -3.4% in November, compared with -3.2% in November last year, according to Springboard.

High Street footfall declined by -4.3%, following from the decrease of -3.8% in November last year. Retail Park footfall dropped by -1.8%, following from November 2018 when footfall decreased by -1.4%. Shopping Centre footfall slumped by -3.0%, following November 2018’s decline of -3.8%.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, commented: “Black Friday fell outside of the November trading period, which meant that the month didn’t see the benefit of the +3.3% increase in footfall from Black Friday 2018.

“Footfall dropped by -3.4% in November, and this was also partly a result of severe rainfall in the latter half of the month which meant that footfall declined by an average of -4.4% compared with -2.4% over the first two weeks.

“Whilst the heavy rain will have deterred many shoppers from making trips to retail destinations, the poor footfall in the second half of the month will have been exacerbated by the proximity of Black Friday discounts.

“Alerts arriving on a regular basis into consumers’ inboxes in the run-up to Black Friday enabled consumers to watch the retail market easily and identify the depth and spread of discounts being offered. If they weren’t already planning on doing so, this will have led to many consumers pulling back on trips to destinations, causing a spending freeze over the last two weeks of the month in anticipation of big discounts on current stock.

“The fact that the Black Friday weekend also started on payday heightened the chances of a spending spree which took place after the month had ended. This pent-up demand is clearly evident from the fact that footfall in the last week of the month in shopping centres dropped by -5.2%, more than in high streets and retail parks. Having the greatest concentration of retailers heavily promoting discounts, it was not surprising that it was in shopping centres where footfall increased most over Black Friday.”

Springboard tracks and forecasts footfall across all key retail destination types, recording over 70 million footfall counts per week at 4,500 counting points across 480 different shopping sites in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Springboard is part of the Government High Street Task Force working to revitalise local high streets across the UK.

 

Springboard Marketing and Insights Director Diane Wehrle

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