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Lacklustre footfall recorded in UK for Black Friday 2021

By Huw Hughes

3 Dec 2021


Image: Pexels

Black Friday 2021 didn’t provide UK retailers with the uplift in footfall they were hoping for, new data reveals.

Footfall during the popular discount shopping day was down 23.4 percent compared to the same day in 2019, prior to the pandemic, according to BRC-Sensormatic IQ data.

For the whole month of November, footfall was 15.7 lower than it was during the same month in 2019 as harsh weather deterred customers from shopping in physical stores.

Nevertheless, November footfall was still comparatively strong, with the second highest figure of the year, second only to October.

Compared to 2019 levels, footfall on high streets was down 19.6 percent, at shopping centres it was down 34.8 percent, and at retail parks it was down 4.1 percent.

Scotland saw the biggest footfall decline on a two-year basis, down 19.8 percent, followed by a 16.7 percent drop in Wales, a 15.7 percent drop in England, and a 5.2 percent drop in Northern Ireland.

“Footfall figures slipped back slightly on last month, as the harsh November weather deterred some customers from shopping in store,” said Helen Dickinson, the chief executive of British Retail Consortium.

But she noted that while the Black Friday weekend failed to match 2019 levels, deals were spread out over the entire month, so the window for shopping for deals was wider.

“London also started to catch up with other major cities as the Christmas lights and markets kicked off the festive season, whilst Northern Ireland consumers benefited from the High Street voucher system,” Dickinson said.