Pre-Christmas Footfall Insights
The latest blog post from Springboard’s Marketing & Insights Director, Diane Wehrle.
Footfall over the Christmas trading period this year has been far more muted than forecast, with an average week on week increase of +1.8% across the UK from week beginning 21st November until the end of last week versus our forecast of +5.8%.
However, last week – despite the introduction of Plan B guidance and the drop off in UK footfall as the week progressed – footfall rose by +5.5% from the week before which was in line with the forecast rise of +5.7%. Footfall across the UK on Monday and Tuesday of this week has increased noticeably, so it seems that shoppers were avoiding making trips over the weekend to avoid possible crowding but are now making trips to shop this week.
As more and more people sign off from work for the festive period, we are anticipating that footfall will continue to increase until 23rd December. We did forecast a rise in UK footfall of +6.5% this week from last, but the actual increase in footfall could be greater than this as by 2pm on Tuesday footfall was +12.3% higher than on Tuesday last week. Despite this late surge, however, footfall is likely to remain circa -20% below the 2019 level.
Across US downtowns, shopper traffic has risen from week to week by more than in UK high streets – by an average of +3.7% from wb 21st November versus an average week on week % change of +0.3% in UK high streets. The gap from the 2019 level in US downtowns at the end of last week was -20% and we would expect it to remain at this level.
Notes: Diane has over 30 years’ experience in retail and is regarded as one of the leading experts on retail and retail destinations, with an unparalleled knowledge and expertise in understanding current and emerging retail issues and consumer trends. Diane regularly commentates on the performance of retail for national broadcast and print media, appearing regularly on BBC, Sky News and Bloomberg. As a founding director of Springboard (established in 2002), Diane specialises in delivering intelligence and insights on both current retail performance and long term retail trends to retailers, hospitality occupiers, landlords, investors and place managers, and was recently named as one of the world’s 100 top retail influencers in 2022 by Rethink Retail for the second year running.