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High streets benefit from Black Friday boost

Despite predictions that this year’s Black Friday would largely be an online event, new figures show footfall rose by 2% on 25 November compared with the same day in 2015.

Black Friday 2016 on London's Oxford Street

Black Friday 2016 on London’s Oxford Street

Black Friday 2016 on London’s Oxford Street

Springboard forecast that footfall would fall by as much as 5% as shoppers were tempted by promotions online, following last year’s fall of 4.5% on the previous year.

High streets saw the biggest boost with a rise in footfall of 2.8%, while retail parks were up by 0.8% and shopping centres by 1.4% on the same day in 2015.

Regional shopping centre owner Intu reported footfall at its centres on Black Friday was up 2.5% on last year, and said a slow start picked up in the evening as shoppers rushed to visit after work.

Springboard’s figures found shoppers at high streets rose by 1.2% on Saturday, while footfall to retail parks dipped by 1.3% and shopping centres by 4.4%.

“Footfall performance for last week underlines how Black Friday is still evolving as a shopping day in the UK, changing from year to year,” said Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard. “The surprisingly positive impact Black Friday offers had upon individual location types and days of the week (in comparison with forecast), is masked by the overall annual decline in footfall numbers. These were down 2.5% for the week on the Springboard Index, which is a weighted average of high streets, shopping centres and retail parks.”

She added: “The positive effects of one day did not have enough influence over the rest of what was a challenging week. When viewed as an average, the full week displays a decline in all but six individual regional location types. Overall numbers declined in the remaining 23, and just the East retained an increase – of 0.1% – across the Springboard Index.”

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