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Christmas Eve and Boxing Day footfall hit by early discounting

Discounting during the past few weeks will take its toll on footfall on traditionally busy trading days, with the number of shoppers predicted to decline on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

Today, the day before Christmas Eve, is usually the biggest shopping day of the year and it is expected to experience a 6.6% increase at all retail destinations compared to December 23 2013, according to data from consumer research company Springboard.

But on Christmas Eve footfall is predicted to fall across the board by 2.3%, with only retail parks set to see an increase of 4%. The decline of last-minute on-the-ground shopping is attributed to the season’s heavy discounting, which drove customers to purchase gifts earlier, and the increasing prominence of click-and-collect.

Footfall is expected to decline by 0.02% on Boxing Day, with retail parks again the only format forecast to increase, by 6%. The data suggests that it will be home and electrical bargains, rather than clothing, that will prompt shopping trips to retail parks, .

“There is no doubt that Black Friday-related pre-Christmas discounting and click-and-collect have impacted trading for physical retailers,” said Diane Wehrle, retail insights director at Springboard.

“This has been combined, however, with a general downward trend as a result of shoppers turning to the convenience and speed of online over high streets and shopping centres.”

Footfall over the last weekend before Christmas showed an overall drop, down 5.4% on Friday and 2.5% on Saturday and Sunday.



Readers' comments (3)

  • The way that footfall is decreasing in the real world, within five years even shopping Malls are going to be ghost towns as the rate of online shopping continues at pace. This run up to Xmas is the quietest I can remember in living memory, but thank fully the people who still want to go in stores, spend well.

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  • Mick Harwood

    I agree with "anonymous" above to a degree. I think its going to get increasingly difficult fot the "identikit" High St fashion retailers.

    Once a consumer knows their size and fit in a certain brand, they can buy online with confidence. If the garment that they are interested is very similar in style to numerous other offers on the High St, then they are not even taking much of a gamble on if they will like it.

    However, I still believe that independant retailers offering something different, will do well. Especially if they wrap an instore experience around that.

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  • darren hoggett

    We have a mixture of greed and naivety, coupled with an industry which is scared of selling at full price.

    Figures show that footfall is down this Christmas and the one thing that needs repeating again and again and again is there is only so much money around so by doing discounting and superficial events such as Black Friday, all you are doing is driving down margin.

    We live in a utterly ridiculous state where the tail is wagging the dog and no business should ever allow that to happen.

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