Bricks and mortar retailers across the UK faced challenging trading conditions on Boxing Day as footfall dropped by 12.4%, despite heavy discounting. Christmas day, however, saw a 36% rise in online shopping.
Between 9am and 8pm on Boxing Day, traditionally the busiest Sales day of the year, high streets were worst affected, down 19.97% year-on-year. According to figures from footfall analyst Springboard, retail parks dropped by 8.35% while shopping centres dropped 0.66% compared to 2013 figures.
Deep price cuts were seen across stores as retailers attempted to clear winter stock, including boots, outerwear and knitwear, left over following the mild autumn.
Some retailer, however, bucked the general trend. As usual, arge queues forming outside Next, which did not participate in Black Friday Sales, before it opened branches across the country at 6am on December 26.
Selfridges saw queues forming from 10.30pm on Christmas Day outside its London store and 4,000 people surrounded the Oxford Street building when it opened at 9am. The department store celebrated its most successful first hour of trade ever, taking over £2m by 10am on Boxing Day.
Online retailers were the big winners of the day, with sales up 40% year on year to £748m on Boxing Day, according to research firms Experian and IMRG.
Christmas Day saw a huge rise in online shopping. John Lewis saw a 19% increase in online sales on Christmas Day making it the retailer’s biggest-ever December 25 for orders. Some 72% of its online traffic came through mobile and tablet devices. IMRG said a record £636m was spent online on Christmas Day, a 36% increase on the year before.