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Black Friday footfall expected to slump amid low consumer confidence

By Huw Hughes

25 Nov 2019


Black Friday will do little to lift the mood of retailers in the UK as store footfall is expected to drop by 4.5 percent.

According to new figures by retail intelligence experts Springboard, high streets will be hardest hit, with a drop of 5.5 percent expected. This follows a decline in footfall on Black Friday over the last two years, with footfall falling by 5.4 percent and 3.6 percent in 2018 and 2017, respectively.

Despite Black Friday falling a week later on payday weekend this year, Springboard forecasts that consumers are unlikely to make trips to stores as discounting throughout the year and scepticism over whether Black Friday deals are better than those being offered generally means shoppers are paying less attention to the shopping bonanza.

Commenting on the figures in a statement, Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “For those who do choose to shop on Black Friday it seems that that the decision will be more about ensuring product availability in advance of Christmas rather than securing the lowest price!

“These results reflect the low confidence of consumers that has been impacting on their willingness to spend throughout the year. Consumers are increasingly favouring experience and leisure-based trips over retail shopping. Given the ongoing uncertainty in the run-up to the general election, this is unlikely to change over Black Friday weekend.”

Consumers are also aware that many discounts are increasingly made available exclusively online, making it more convenient to shop from home. However, even online spending is likely to be muted over Black Friday. IMRG is forecasting a rise in online sales over the entire Black Friday period of just 2 to 3 percent but says there is a possibility that sales could be flat.

Photo credit: FashionUnited