Rain drives retail footfall down again in November

Labour High Street Business rates Retail sales

Retail footfall dropped again in November as a result of persistent rain and Black Friday falling a week later than last year.

According to data experts Springboard, footfall across the high street, shopping centres and retail parks slumped by -3.4% year-on-year in November. This is on top of a -3.2% drop recorded for the same month last year.

High street locations, which are more vulnerable to poor weather, experienced a -4.3% drop, compared to a -1.3% drop at retail parks, while shopping centres were down -3%. Springboard bases its data on 480 destinations across the country.

Springboard Insights Director Diane Wehrle said shoppers holding out for Black Friday sales and the benefits of some of those sales falling into December will have been a factor in the results, as well as the poor weather.

“This pent-up demand is clearly evident from the fact that footfall in the last week of the month in shopping centres dropped by 5.2%, more than in high streets and retail parks. Having the greatest concentration of retailers heavily promoting discounts, it was not surprising that it was in shopping centres where footfall increased most over Black Friday,” Wehrle said.

In more positive news, Black Friday did defy expectations with BDO reporting that the week of Black Friday provided retailers with a much-needed boost, with in-store and non-store sales soaring by 24% and 28% respectively.