Boxing Day footfall down for third consecutive year

Shopping Christmas Mintel Boxing Day

Boxing Day footfall was down -3.1% representing the third consecutive year of decline on what used to be the most important trading day of the year.

According to retail intelligence specialist Springboard the overall decline was lower than that of last year thanks to a smaller drop in high street footfall, which was virtually flat at -0.3%, compared with -6.2% in 2017 and -3.6% in 2016.

Springboard said the high street relative robust performance, when compared to retail parks and shopping centres, was down to the greater variety of restaurants and coffee shops located on the high street than in other retail locations.

While larger shopping centres have a wider food and beverage offer, it is often limited in smaller centres making them a less attractive option for a day out than the high street. Springboard said this was illustrated by a decline of just -1.0% in high street footfall between 12pm and 2pm compared with -2.8% before 12pm.

Drops in footfall of -4.7% in shopping centres and -6.5% in retail parks between 12pm and 2pm illustrate that shopping centres and retail parks weren’t able to capture the lunchtime footfall so successfully.

Retail parks fared badly overall yesterday with a drop of -7.2% which was attributed to a drop in consumer confidence meaning shoppers were less likely to spend money on big ticket items, such as furniture and large household items.

Year on year % change in footfall (difference from the same period in the previous year)

Boxing Day 2018 up to 10pm

Boxing Day 2017 up to 10pm

Boxing Day 2016 up to 10pm

High Street footfall

-0.3%

-6.2%

-3.6%

Retail Park footfall

-7.2%

-2.1%

-3.0%

Shopping Centre footfall

-5.0%

-4.1%

-5.6%

UK Average footfall

-3.1%

-4.7%

-4.0%

Source: Springboard

London’s West End, however, bucked the trend of lower footfall with an anticipated 15% increase in footfall with shoppers in the area expected to spend £50m. The area lured shoppers with a high level of discounting and tourist spend was encouraged by the week pound.

Selfridges, which held off going sale until Boxing Day in-store and Christmas Day online, said it took £4m in early trading on Boxing Day alone.