Springboard has revealed that the UK footfall dropped 2.5 percent during December, which the retail intelligence experts states “was not a surprise as footfall has declined in December in all but one year since 2009”.

The drop in UK footfall marked a difficult ending to a tough year for retail and December’s figures have been described by Springboard as being "at the upper end of the scale of decline” with the high street being the hardest hit, where footfall declined by 3.5 percent, following from the decrease of 2.1 percent in November last year.

The decline in footfall during December reflects the “caution and spending restraint of consumers,” added Springboard, with low consumer confidence being an ongoing trend for the last three years.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday brought Christmas trading forward, leading to a noticeable decline in footfall over the two weeks leading up to Christmas.

Retail Park footfall did a little better than the high street and shopping centres, down just 0.5 percent, following from December 2018 when footfall decreased by 2.1 percent. While shopping centre footfall declined by 2.1 percent, following December 2018’s decline of 3.9 percent.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, said in a statement: “The -2.5 percent drop in footfall across UK retail destinations during December was not a surprise as footfall has declined in December in all but one year since 2009. The challenge for destinations and stores was not only that this was the eighth consecutive year that footfall has decreased in this key trading month, but that it was also at the upper end of the scale in terms of the magnitude of decline.

“All of this was despite the occurrence of Black Friday during the December trading month which, in conjunction with Cyber Monday, helped to increase footfall in the first two weeks by +0.1 percent. Essentially this discounting bonanza pulled Christmas trading forward, demonstrated by a drop in footfall of -6.1 percent over the third and fourth weeks of December which was nearly three times as large as the -2.2 percent drop in the same weeks in 2018.”

 

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