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Christmas footfall highest since beginning of pandemic, according to BRC

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: FashionUnited

Despite a shift in consumer confidence and their move towards essentials amid a cost-of-living crisis triggered by record inflation, footfall during the peak Christmas period was reportedly the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the British Retail Consortium’s Sensormatic IQ data, total UK footfall for 2022 still fell 11.8 percent below pre-pandemic levels. However, the organisation noted this was an improvement on 2021 footfall, which was 33.2 percent below.

Similarly, while December footfall decreased 7.3 percent Y03Y, the figure was 6 percent better than November and an improvement on the three month average decline of 10.2 percent.

Improvements were also seen in footfall for high streets and shopping centres, the former of which saw a decline of 9.3 percent in December, up 4.3 percentage points than the previous month and better than the three month average of 11 percent. High streets also welcomed a 15.1 percent footfall increase YoY.

Meanwhile, shopping centres also enjoyed a slight improvement. Their 19.9 percent Y03Y decline was 3.3 percentage points better than November, with an improvement on the 20.9 percent three month average decline. Shopping centres saw a 13.4 percent footfall increase, YoY.

Retail parks were the only form of retail to have seen a worse rate, with a decline in footfall by 1.6 percent. Their 5.2 percent decline was 1 percentage point worse than the previous month, and was additionally worse than the 4.5 percent three month average.

In terms of regions, Northern Ireland saw the lowest footfall decline at minus three percent, followed by England at minus 8.7 percent, Wales at minus 9.6 percent and Scotland at minus 9.9 percent.

British Retail Consortium