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

Online chips away at high street’s Christmas footfall

High streets failed to tempt shoppers into stores this Christmas, with footfall down 3.7% in December as bad weather deterred last-minute bargain hunters.

Footfall across all retail destinations was 2.4% lower than 2012, following the 2.9% drop in November, but high streets were the worst hit. Wales, the Southwest and Northern Ireland recorded the biggest drops, down 3.8%, 3.4% and 8.7% respectively.

On a three-month basis, footfall to high streets has now fallen 3.8%, the worst decline since August 2012, when the Olympics affected shopper numbers. At out-of-town locations footfall dropped 1.2% while shopping centres fell 1.8%.

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at retail consultancy Springboard, said: “The drop in footfall was double that of December 2012 but, unlike last year, high streets bore the brunt with an annual decline of more than double that in shopping centres.”

British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson said the footfall figures showed how multichannel retail was “changing the face of shopping, particularly at Christmas”.

“Rather than making multiple trips to the shops over the festive period, many of us planned ahead for our gift buying and took advantage of retailers’ investment in services such as click-and-collect so they could cover off their festive spending at their convenience,” she explained.

The figures were supported by data published by IMRG Capgemini this week, which showed that £91bn was spent online in 2013, £11bn of which came in December. Clothing spend increased 17%.

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.