The number of shoppers looking for bargains on Boxing Day morning in stores fell 10.6% this year compared with 2018 – the largest fall since 2010.
The half-day figures from Springboard, which monitored footfall before 12pm on 26 December, showed shoppers were deterred by gloomy weather across the country. High streets showed the biggest dip – of 13.6% compared with last year. Shopping centre footfall fell 8.8% and retail parks 5.9%.
The drop rounds off the decade with the largest footfall decline since 2010, when Boxing Day fell on a Sunday, and the country was still feeling the impact of the 2009 recession.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said the figures indicated the diminishing importance of Boxing Day as a shopping day compared with other annual shopping events. Boxing Day footfall was 10.9% lower in stores than on the morning of Black Friday, 29 November.
Wehrle said: “This result reflects a number of underlying structural changes in terms of how consumers shop with more going online, the increased spending around Black Friday, the growing demand for hospitality and experience, and the fact that the number of ‘blended families’ means that many consumers are still celebrating Christmas on Boxing Day with their family.
There were hopes for footfall to increase as the weather improved later in the day, however, even with an afternoon increase footfall is anticipated to remain low.