Festive footfall falls flat

Christmas 2018 failed to arrest decline in footfall, says Springboard

Footfall last week – the final week of the year – rose by +1.4% from the same week last year. However, the result was enhanced by the fact that the week benefited from an additional trading day before Christmas, as Christmas Day fell on Tuesday this year compared with Monday in 2017. Moreover the week included 23rd December (the peak trading day before Christmas) whilst last year the week commenced on 24th when footfall is lower.

The difference made by the shift in the calendar is illustrated clearly by the fact that last year footfall declined in this week by -4%. The significance of the date shift on the week’s results indicates that this is one week in the year when additional insight can be gained by comparing footfall based on dates. On this basis, footfall over the seven day period between 23rd and 29th December this year declined by -2.6% from 23rd to 29th December 2017. This reflects the challenging retail trading conditions currently being experienced.

Despite the impact of the shift in the calendar on the week’s results, it is clear that high streets outperformed both retail parks and shopping centres, with a +2.8% rise in high street footfall from the same week last year compared with +1.1% in shopping centres and a decline of -1.2% in retail parks. Indeed, even over the seven days between 23rd and 29th compared with the same date period last year footfall in high streets declined by just -0.5% compared with -4.2% in shopping centres and -5.4% in retail parks.

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