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In-store Boxing Day footfall down by 15.3% compared to pre-COVID levels

Chloe Burney
28 December 2022

New data has revealed that in-store footfall on Boxing Day was down by 15.3% compared to pre-COVID levels.

The latest data from RetailNext Inc, an expert in retail intelligence and traffic analytics for brick-and-mortar stores, also revealed that the Friday-Monday festive period experienced an 18.4% decline in traffic compared to 2019.

The decline in physical retail shopping follows previous reports of a challenging festive period for retailers, largely due to travel disruptions and the cost-of-living crisis.

The post-Christmas sales are traditionally a big draw for retailers across the UK. Despite footfall not reaching pre-COVID levels, in-store footfall on Boxing Day was up by 55.1% in comparison to 2021, whilst traffic for the Friday-Monday period climbed 30.9%.

Store traffic in the South East and London reflected the lowest decline over 2019 (8%) but was up year on year by 61.2%. Clothing and footwear categories attracted the highest traffic on Boxing Day compared to 2019, only dropping by 6.3%. The two categories were up almost 71% over last year.

Joe Shasteen, Global Manager, Advanced Analytics, commented: “After a challenging end to the year, a drop in footfall on Boxing Day compared to 2019 will be a blow for retailers across the UK. In the first festive period unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the sector would have been hoping for a bounce in footfall, but rail strikes and the cost of living crisis have compounded to create a hugely challenging time for retailers.

“Despite the return to some kind of normality, which is reflected in the positive traffic trends against 2021, retailers have still had to contend with a huge amount of disruption over December. As the rising cost of living continues to impact the amount of discretionary spend for consumers, this perhaps highlights how important pricing and promotions will be over the next 12 months.”

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