25th November – 1st December
Somewhat inevitably, given that last week followed directly on from the future of Black Friday and included Cyber Monday which of course is online focussed, visitors dropped significantly from the same week in 2017. Whilst this was not unexpected, the magnitude of decline, at -5.5%, was virtually double that of the -3.1% in 2017. Furthermore, all three destination types were impacted in similar degrees this year with drops ranging from -4.3% in retail parks, to -6.5% in shopping centres. In contrast to this, last year it was most definitely high streets that were hit hardest with a decline in visitors of -4.5% compared with -2.6% in shopping centres and just -0.3% in retail parks.
Tuesday last week was by far the worst day for visitors, with double digit drops across all three destination types. Activity improved marginally over the week, culminating in uplift in visitors of +0.5% on Friday, possibly driven by click and collect activity.
Geographically, the decline was universal; and it was all about trying to identify those areas with the smallest decrease. For high streets, these were Northern Ireland and Wales (-0.3% and -1.8%) whilst in seven of the eight remaining areas the drop was in excess of -6.0%. In shopping centres, the result was even bleaker with declines in visitors in excess of -4.0% in every area. And whilst retail parks were a little more resilient, in five areas the drop was more than -4.0%, reaching -10.3% in the West Midlands.