Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Discounting fails to fire up footfall

Discounting at Marks & Spencer and Debenhams last Thursday temporarily lifted shopper numbers but overall footfall fell 3.73% year-on-year last week.

Thursday, which saw the start of the first round of pre-Christmas high street discounting, saw footfall figures rise by 5.06% according to Experian.

However the temporary promotions had a knock on effect on weekend shopper numbers, which fell 5.9% over Saturday and Sunday.

Jonathan de Mello, head of retail consultancy, Experian Business Strategies, said: "Although retailers are offering large discounts, there is still little sign of Christmas in terms of increasing numbers of footfall. Current levels are down -5.9% on the comparable weekend last year, suggesting that shoppers are still being cautious."

"If we take the Marks & Spencer's discount as an example, the event may have increased footfall by 5.5% compared to the same day last year but retailers need to exercise caution with this approach as it can have a significant impact on margins."

De Mello added: "We may well see a negative year-on-year trend continuing at least until Thursday [this week] as the tail off for discounts is quite rapid and the average shopper will probably wait another week before returning to the shops."

"In effect the M&S and Debenhams Sales have had a negative effect on footfall in the days after these took place due to people bringing forward their purchases at these retailers which had a knock on effect on the weekend's sales."

House of Fraser will hold a special pre-Christmas Sale this Thursday and Friday. Selfridges is also offering discounts of up to 20% this week.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.