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UK retailers boosted by Black Friday footfall

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Image: Shopping via Pexels

The Black Friday bonanza expected by retailers saw a significant uptick in footfall according to data from retail experts Springboard.

The high street and retail parks were popular (11.3 percent and 7.1 percent respectively) but shopping centres saw the biggest rise in footfall with 16.8 percent.

The shopping event, which has expanded from the last Friday in November to a week of discounting, saw footfall level out by Saturday to just 0.6 percent compared to the previous week. Sunday had greater footfall numbers, rising 5.9 percent across all destinations.

Springboard said city centres were hugely appealing for consumers over the Black Friday week, with increases of 4.9 percent in Central London and 4.3 percent in cities outside London, and 13.3 percent and 17.8 percent on Black Friday itself. However, towns that are attractive to visitors and offer festive attractions such as coastal towns and historic towns also benefited.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, says: “UK retail destinations received a boost last week from Black Friday, with an increase in footfall from the week before that was twice as large as in the previous week. Footfall rose in all three destination types, but shopping centres fared particularly well, which is a result we would expect to see as shopping centres comprise a critical mass of larger retailers, the vast majority of which actively participate in the event. However, notably footfall still remained significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels, indicating consistent nervousness around spending in the current climate.”

“At the same time, consumers appeared to regard the occurrence of Black Friday last week as an excuse for making trips to high streets to enjoy the pre-Christmas festivities, with increases in footfall in city centres and towns that appeal to consumers for day trips. This included coastal and historic towns, which were more than twice as large as in high streets across the UK.”

“The increase in footfall last week meant that the annual increase from 2021 nearly doubled from the previous week. This greater annual uplift was driven mainly by high streets, demonstrating that whilst the week on week increase in footfall in high streets last week was not as large as in shopping centres, high streets performed better than on Black Friday week last year.”

Black Friday