High street suffers Black Friday blues as footfall slumps in November

Kasmira Jefford
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Christmas Shoppers Hunt For Gifts On The High Street
The drop in footfall was below the three-month average in November (Source: Getty)

UK high streets suffered a massive slump in footfall in November as shoppers abandoned the high street in favour of bagging a Black Friday bargain online.

The number of visitors making shopping trips to their local high streets, retail parks and shopping centres fell by 2.1 per cent year-on-year. This was significantly below the 0.2 per cent fall reported in October and the three-month average decline of 0.8 per cent, figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard today show.

Retail parks fared the best, with footfall up by two per cent year-on-year. However this was below October’s 2.9 per cent rise. High streets and shopping centres saw a further decline in footfall, falling to 3.4 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.

Only two regions reported a rise in visitors through their stores in November, the East Midlands and London, which both saw a 0.2 per cent rise.

The drop in footfall comes after the industry body reported a 0.4 decline in like-for-like sales over the same period, with furniture and home accessories the only categories out of the 12 covered by the BRC’s sales index to report any growth. In contrast, online sales of non-food products leapt by 11.8 per cent.

“Shopper footfall wilted once again last month, as consumers shunned high streets and instead sought to take advantage of online Black Friday promotions and discounts which often ranged across several days. As a result November was the eighth consecutive month in which shopper footfall declined, and at a faster rate than the three-month,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

"Those retailers with a strong multichannel offer - allowing customers to shop in-store, at home and on the move - will have been well placed to capitalise on this further milestone in the development of our digital economy,” she added.

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