Post-Christmas shopper numbers subdued, according to Springboard
Inevitably, as Christmas trading peaked the week before, footfall declined significantly last week from the previous week (by -27.9 per cent). Of more concern was the fact that footfall last week was -4.0% lower than in the same week last year, although this was actually an improved result as footfall dropped by -5.2 per cent in 2016 from the same week in 2015. The key difference between this year and last was a recovery in footfall to retail parks which, although still in decline at -1.4 per cent, was a clear improvement on the -6.9 per cent drop in 2016.
While they are a disappointment, these results are no surprise, as Springboard identified that footfall on Boxing Day declined by -4.5 per cent from Boxing Day last year, and that footfall over the period between 27th and 30th December dropped by -2.3 per cent from the same four day period in 2016. What is a surprise, however, is the magnitude of the annual drop, with footfall declining by more than -3 per cent in six geographic areas across the UK and by more than -5% in four areas.
The most significant reductions occurred in high streets in Scotland (-8.7 per cent) and the South West (-9.5 per cent), and in shopping centres in North & Yorkshire (-9.1 per cent). And despite the better performance of retail parks overall, there were still three geographies in which footfall in this destination type declined by more than -3 per cent (the East, the East Midlands and Greater London).