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Blackest of Black Fridays looms for the high street

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Calling it Black Friday could be the ultimate understatement this year with it falling a week before non-essential stores in England are allowed to reopen on December 3.

Retail Intelligence firm Springboard is forecasting that this year UK footfall will be 59% lower than 2019 across all retail destinations on the day of Black Friday, and 58% lower over the three days from Friday to Sunday.

England is forecast to be hardest hit with a decline of 61.7% across all destinations on Black Friday and 60.6% over the weekend.

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The American import has become the date when the starting pistol for Christmas shopping begins, but most major jewellers have already prepared for Black Friday to be an online-only opportunity for sales, and a chance to remind customers that the opening of stores is just around the corner.

“It goes without saying that Black Friday this year will be like no other. All products, bar those available in essential stores, will need to be purchased online, so online spend will undoubtedly increase substantially. For bricks and mortar stores, particularly in England, the opportunity over Black Friday will largely be limited to their ability to provide click and collect facilities, which is the only option for shoppers to purchase goods at non-essential stores,” says Springboard’s insights director Diane Wehrle.

Springboard forecasts that high streets will be the hardest hit with a -67.3% YoY drop in footfall across the Black Friday weekend while shopping centres are likely to benefit more than high streets due to the greater concentration of larger multiple stores.

Retail parks will be far stronger over the Black Friday weekend with a forecast decline in footfall of only 30.7% over the three days from Friday to Sunday because they have a range of large stores that are deemed essential.

In a recently published by Springboard-AL Marketing “Unwrapping Christmas with Covid” report, 70% of shoppers are intending to shop online more on Black Friday than last year.

Looking beyond Black Friday, with the month lockdown in England due to end on 2 December and the Tier 4 restrictions in Scotland ending on 12 December, Springboard anticipates that there will be a sudden and noticeable bounce back in footfall which could be up to +40%.

Footfall data in Wales for the first seven days after the end of its 17 day firebreak demonstrates this — over the first seven days after the end of the firebreak the year on year decline in footfall improved to -27.8% from an average decline of -72.4% during the firebreak.

England – forecast footfall for Black Friday 2020
Fri 27th Nov

2020

Sat 28th

Nov 2020

Sun 29th Nov

2020

Fri 27th to Sun

29th Nov 2020

High Streets -71.0% -69.0% -70.0% -70.0%
Retail Parks -35.0% -33.0% -33.0% -33.7%
Shopping Centres -68.0% -66.0% -67.0% -67.0%
All destinations -61.7% -59.7% -60.5% -60.6%

 

Wales – forecast footfall for Black Friday 2020
Fri 27th Nov

2020

Sat 28th

Nov 2020

Sun 29th Nov

2020

Fri 27th to Sun

29th Nov 2020

High Streets -31.0% -29.0% -30.0% -30.0%
Retail Parks -12.0% -10.0% -10.0% -10.7%
Shopping Centres -37.0% -35.0% -36.0% -36.0%
All destinations -28.0% -26.0% -26.8% -26.9%
Scotland – forecast footfall for Black Friday 2020
Fri 27th Nov

2020

Sat 28th

Nov 2020

Sun 29th Nov

2020

Fri 27th to Sun

29th Nov 2020

High Streets -49.0% -47.0% -48.0% -48.0%
Retail Parks -8.0% -7.0% -7.0% -7.4%
Shopping Centres -42.0% -40.0% -41.0% -41.0%
All destinations -37.5% -35.7% -36.5% -36.6%
Northern Ireland – forecast footfall for Black Friday 2020
Fri 27th Nov

2020

Sat 28th

Nov 2020

Sun 29th Nov

2020

Fri 27th to Sun

29th Nov 2020

High Streets -40.0% -38.0% -39.0% -39.0%
Retail Parks -8.0% -7.0% -7.0% -7.4%
Shopping Centres -23.0% -21.0% -21.0% -21.7%
All destinations -28.1% -26.4% -26.9% -27.1%

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Tags : black fridaySpringboard
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder