Retail experts Springboard have forecast UK footfall across all retail destinations is set to rise by 7.9 percent in the week leading up to Black Friday. The biggest increase will be seen over Black Friday weekend where footfall will peak on Friday with an expected rise of 19 percent and continue into the weekend with rises of 13 percent on Saturday and 11 percent on Sunday.
Shopping centres will see the greatest uplift in footfall of 24 percent, whilst high streets and retail parks will see footfall rise by 20 percent and 6 percent respectively.
Over the past eight years since the first Black Friday event in the UK in 2013, there have been as many years when footfall on that day has declined from the year before as it has increased; ranging from a high of +9.8 percent in 2014 to a drop of -5.4 percent in 2018. In 2020 - with England in the midst of a lockdown and the rest of the UK subject to restrictions - footfall on Black Friday was -60.4 percent lower than on Black Friday 2019, a sharp contrast to the year before when trading conditions were normal and footfall was +3.3 percent higher than on Black Friday 2018.
This year, Black Friday is set to be bigger than ever. Not only will UK retail destinations see footfall increase by +7.9 percent over the week as a whole, footfall will peak over the Black Friday weekend with rises of +19 percent on Friday, +13 percent on Saturday and +11 percent on Sunday.
With their expansive retail offering, it is shopping centres which are anticipated to be the most attractive destination for shoppers to visit on Black Friday as footfall is predicted to rise by 24 percent. High streets will also see a rise of 20 percent and +6 percent in retail parks.
Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard commented: “High streets and shopping centres will be the winners in terms of the uplift in shopper numbers, as consumers make the most of the opportunity to grab Christmas presents early to ensure they don’t suffer from any supply shortages but also soak up the Christmas feel that was so absent last year. However, retail parks will continue to appeal to shoppers due to the compelling discounting offered by electrical and homeware retailers that is a key feature of Black Friday, together with their accessibility and free parking, which makes it easy and convenient for shoppers to click and collect online purchases.”