UK stores struggle to attract shoppers in week after Black Friday
The full extent of physical retail’s ongoing decline in the UK became clear this week as footfall tracker Springboard released data for the seven days after Black Friday week.
Covering November 25 to December 1, it said that footfall dropped “significantly" from the same week in 2017. And while this wasn’t unexpected after the frenzy of the previous few days, “the magnitude of decline, at -5.5%, was virtually double that of the -3.1% in 2017.”
What was particularly worrying was that all three destination types suffered noticeably, with even retail parks, which are usually the strongest destination, down as much as 4.3%. That wasn't as bad as shopping centres though, which fell a hefty 6.5% overall.
This contrasts with last year when it was high streets that were struggling while retail parks and shopping centres continued to benefit a little from the halo effect of Black Friday week.
Back with this year, Tuesday last week was by far the worst day for footfall, with double-digit drops across all three destination types. Activity improved marginally over the week, culminating in an uplift in footfall of 0.5% on Friday, “possibly driven by click-and-collect activity” as all those consumers who had been shopping online turned up in-store to collect parcels.
The decline was spread broadly across the UK and again, shopping centres were noticeably worse off in every region with declines of at least 4%.
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