Five busiest days of Christmas trading revealed
The five busiest days of peak Christmas trading have been predicted by ShopperTrak, based on its footfall index which captures 40 billion shopper visits each year.
The Saturday after Black Friday, 28 November, 2020, will be the first and the busiest in-store shopping day of the Christmas period, followed by 12 December - the second last Saturday before Christmas, 19 December – the last Saturday before Christmas, then Boxing Day, 26 December, and 28 December - the Monday after the public Christmas holiday.
The “halo effect” from discounting events will remain a key driver for Christmas footfall, with three of the top five busiest days being driven by either Black Friday or Boxing Day sales events.
Shoppers will make “fewer but more purposeful trips into store,” making each visit more valuable according to ShopperTrak, the footfall retail intelligence solution from Sensormatic Solutions.
Research of 1,000 UK shoppers shows price as the top consideration for in-store Christmas shopping for 48%, amid economic and political uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and a possible no-deal Brexit. That is followed by product availability at 21% and store cleanliness and hygiene at 17%.
Andy Sumpter, Sensormatic’s retail consultant for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, commented: “This year, more so than ever, retailers’ performance during peak trading will be critical and, despite the digital acceleration we have seen during the pandemic, the physical store remains integral to that success.
“We expect to see customers shopping less frequently in-store but with more purpose, making each visit more valuable than ever.”
Having shifted from a single day of discounting to a longer sales event, footfall on Black Friday itself has fallen in recent years. In 2019 it fell -6% year-on-year.
But, while Black Friday itself falls out of the top five busiest peak trading days, the Saturday of the Black Friday weekend, 28 November, is anticipated to be the busiest day for Christmas shopper traffic in 2020.
The impact of coronavirus is expected to negatively hit UK GDP - falling by -11.5% in 2020, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Additionally, warnings that a "disorderly" no-deal Brexit could risk further long-term damage to Britain’s recovery, economic and political uncertainty are over all playing a role in suppressing consumer confidence.