25 May 2024, 11:09
By Furniture News Dec 11, 2017

November retail footfall precedes ‘careful as you go’ Christmas, says Ipsos

UK retail footfall improved +4.5% in November 2017 MoM, and in-store traffic on Black Friday improved +0.9% YoY on 2016 – although the number of shoppers for the full week (Sunday 19th – Saturday 25th) were down by -4.8% YoY, reports Ipsos Retail Performance.
 
Footfall traffic varied significantly in different regions of the UK, but was worst hit in London and The South East, where it fell by -10.5% YoY, as consumers were driven online by extended promotional activity around Black Friday. In contrast, for the first time since August, a region saw a rise in YoY footfall, with the Midlands improving +1.8%.
 
“Black Friday and the promise of promotions and discounts put many people off shopping in October,” comments Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance.
 
“When the discounting came, while footfall did improve on last year, many of the price cuts were generally shallower and the offers narrower, with retailers intent on preserving demand as we move into holiday season. Retailers across the UK will take a lot of satisfaction from the marginal +0.9% increase in footfall on Black Friday, and the accompanying growth in online activity.”
 
Ipsos Retail Performance forecast that heading into the all-important month of December, non-food store footfall in the UK would fall by -2.1% against December 2016. To remain on course for this to be achieved, footfall would need to rise by +2.0% over the coming week.
 
Tim continues: “It was a bad time for the interest rate rise, just as retailers enter the Golden Quarter of the year, but I suspect that this had no immediate impact on everyday shopping.
 
“Heading into Christmas, retailers simply cannot afford shoppers to burn the candle at both ends, foreshortening both Christmas and October spending. This year it’s likely we will see a ‘careful as you go’ Christmas, with retailers closely managing discounting and promotions against demand, and shoppers vigilant in making their shrunken disposable income go further.”
 
The next RTI update is scheduled to be released on 19th December.

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