Retail intelligence firm Springboard says it expects footfall in the UK to have risen in the new year when it analyses the results of the first days of 2018.
In a report issued on December 29, the analyst said footfall across UK high streets, shopping centres and out of town retail centres would increase in early January by 13% year-on-year – restoring a renewed optimism amongst retailers for a modest end to the year in terms of sales.
With the Christmas trading period – which saw footfall decline by 3.3% in December up to Christmas – now largely over, it is forecast that footfall will rise by 6% over the New Year period [Saturday 30th December to Monday 1st January inclusive] compared with 2016, with forecast uplifts on both New Year’s Eve and on New Year’s Day.
New Year’s Eve was forecasted to see footfall rise by 3% compared to 2016, in part due to the greater demand for hospitality and eating out amongst consumers that has been evident throughout 2017.
Footfall on New Year’s Day is likely to be flattered in comparison to a huge drop in footfall last year of -24% due to very poor weather, and also the fact that it is the last day before people return to work and therefore the last opportunity to shop; whilst in 2017 New Year’s day fell on Sunday so consumers were still able to shop on Monday 2nd January before returning to work on Tuesday.
Diane Wehrle, Springboard Insights Director said: “Footfall on New Year’s Day is forecast to rise, by 13% overall, with the greatest increase of +15% in high streets due to their wide range of food and beverage offerings. However, footfall in retail parks and shopping centres is also forecast to increase by +10%. Much of this rise will be a bounce back from the significant decline of -24% on New Year’s Day 2017 when there was severe wind and rain which deterred consumers from venturing out into retail destinations.”