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Christmas Eve footfall to drop year-on-year

Footfall across the UK’s retail destinations is expected to see a 2.4% drop on Christmas Eve compared with the same day last year, according to new figures.

Retail data provider Springboard has predicted that footfall on 24 December will fall despite a forecasted 2% year-on-year rise in shopping centres.

This will accompany a 3.4% year-on-year decline on 23 December.

Diane Wehrle, retail insights director at Springboard, said this is down to prevailing economic conditions that have put pressure on spending, as well as the fact that timings offer consumers an opportunity to travel to their Christmas destinations over the weekend.

However, the provider expects to see a last-minute 7.8% uplift across the UK in the week to Friday 22 December, as shoppers complete their last-minute purchases.

The greatest increase is expected on the high street, which could leap by 10% as customers seek to combine shopping with coffee shop and restaurant visits.

Retail destinations were hit hard by heavy snowfall in the week to 16 December, with visitor numbers slumping by 10.1% on high streets and by 5.8% at shopping centres, compared with last year.

Springboard said it was likely that click-and-collect trips would have helped insulate retail parks, which saw a comparative decrease of 3.5% year-on-year, from the same impact.

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