Boxing Day footfall falls for third consecutive year

Footfall declined by 3.1% on Boxing Day, the third consecutive year in which footfall on Boxing Day has been lower than in the year before according to the latest figures from Springboard.

Springboard said the fall “indicates the lessening in importance of Boxing Day as a trading day”. Over the last few years footfall on Boxing Day has been found to be consistently 10% lower than on Black Friday, with footfall in 2018 reported as 10.7% lower.

Footfall on Boxing Day was also 12% lower than on 22 December, the “peak” trading day before Christmas. Part of the reason for the drop in footfall was attributed to the “almost continuous” discounting that has been taking place by retailers this year – particularly over the period from Black Friday onwards – which Springboard added “negates the reason to defer purchases to Boxing Day”.

The magnitude of decline was less than in the previous two years, but this was due to a smaller drop in high street footfall, which was virtually flat at -0.3% compared with -6.2% in 2017 and -3.6% in 2016.

Springboard said the data  shows that many consumers who visited retail destinations on Boxing Day would have been doing so as part of a “wider leisure experience”, and the greater variety of restaurants and coffee shops in high streets enables shoppers to make the most of their trips and include lunch or coffee whilst shopping.

This was said to have been illustrated by the decline of just -1% in high street footfall between 12pm and 2pm compared with -2.8% before 12pm. Drops in footfall of -4.7% in shopping centres and -6.5% in retail parks between 12pm and 2pm meaning shopping centres and retail parks were not able to “capture lunchtime footfall so successfully” according to Springboard.

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