29 May 2024, 12:09
By Furniture News Jan 05, 2024

Retail footfall falters in damp December, says BRC-Sensormatic IQ

According to BRC-Sensormatic IQ data, total UK retail footfall decreased by -5.0% YoY in December, down from -0.7% in November.

High street footfall decreased by -4.2%, retail park footfall by -4.8%, and shopping centre footfall by -7.4% in December.

Of the UK nations, Scotland saw the least significant YoY drop in footfall, showing a decrease of -2.2%. Northern Ireland saw a drop of -4.7%, followed by England and Wales, both at -5.8%.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), says: “December’s heavy rain left many shoppers reluctant to brave the elements, who instead opted to browse online before making final purchases, or shop online altogether. This led to a substantial decline in footfall levels compared to December 2022, when there was significant pent-up demand for in-store shopping post-Covid restrictions.

"Some cities, such as Edinburgh, bucked the trend, and saw footfall levels rise in December thanks to recent investment in new, exciting shopping destinations.”

Andy Sumpter, retail consultant EMEA for Sensormatic Solutions, comments: “One of the wettest Decembers on record, combined with dampened consumer confidence and ongoing spending caution, meant some retailers may have been left disappointed in last month’s footfall performance. 

"While we saw festive glimmers of shopper traffic peaks in and around discounting days, such as Boxing Day when footfall improved +39.2% WoW, many may have been waiting for a last-minute Christmas trading rush that never came. 

"There’s little doubt that the overall downward YoY trajectory in store visits in December - usually the crescendo of the Golden Quarter – will have come as a blow.  Retailers will be hoping that demand improves as inflation starts to ease and the impact of the inflationary spending squeeze on disposable incomes softens.”

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