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November footfall drops as 'Black Friday gleam diminishes'

Footfall across the UK fell 3.2% year on year in November – a swing from last year’s growth of 0.2% – as Black Friday increasingly becomes an online event. 

It was the 12th month of consecutive decline in footfall, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard’s Footfall Monitor shows.

High streets and shopping centres fared the worst: both dropped 3.8%, while retail parks recorded a decline of 1.4%.

Northern Ireland was the only region to enjoy an increase for the second month in a row, as it sustained 2.7% growth.

Since Black Friday became established in 2013, footfall has declined every November except for 2017. This year’s result marks the biggest year-on-year drop for the month since Springboard’s records began in 2009.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard’s marketing and insights director, said: “The 3.2% drop in footfall in November is indisputable evidence that Black Friday delivers no tangible benefit to bricks-and-mortar stores.

“While online shopping was inevitably more prevalent than in other months, the vast majority of spending still remained in store and this is what Black Friday impacts adversely.

“In the week of Black Friday itself, footfall declined by 5.5%, more than in any week of the month. And the fact that like-for-like spend was down by 0.5% in November, alongside the lowest rate of growth in non-food online sales, are further indicators that the gleam of Black Friday is diminishing.” 

Readers' comments (1)

  • darren hoggett

    Further evidence of the irreversible decline of the High Street as more and more consumers - rightly or wrongly - shop online. This trend cannot be reversed.

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