According to global retail and footfall consultant Ipsos Retail Performance, UK retail footfall on Black Friday was up +0.3% on 2014, as shoppers were again out in force in search of heavily-discounted items. The rise in shopper traffic was largely felt in outlet centres and on retail parks, where traffic rose by +8.3% and +4.3% respectively. The retailers that saw the strongest increase were in the DIY, homeware and health and beauty sectors.
Stores in the Midlands and Eastern England benefited from the biggest footfall growth, with the East Midlands topping the regional ladder, boasting a year-on-year improvement of +5.7%. This was in contrast to Wales, where footfall dropped by -3.3% and the South East, where it fell by -2.5%.
“After all the hype and speculation about Black Friday this year, our data shows that store footfall levels were marginally up on last year, thanks primarily to more stores participating in promotional events,” comments Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance.
“The uplift was nowhere near as strong as some commentators had forecast, but nonetheless indicates that the discount day was popular and is now a fixture on the shopping calendar.
“Big questions still remain though over Black Friday’s overall contribution to stimulating sales. Whilst it certainly sets tills ringing on the day, concerns remain that it may be simply pulling demand forward, detracting from the run-up to Christmas.”
Ipsos compiled the footfall figures for Friday 27th November by monitoring the number of individual shoppers entering over 4000 non-food retail stores across the UK.