Black Friday sales failed to entice more shoppers out to UK retail destinations, according to the latest data.
Footfall worsened slightly during November to 14.5 per cent below 2019 compared with being down 13.4 per cent on pre-pandemic levels in October, according to Springboard data.
The month as a whole was impacted by a relatively small uplift in footfall in the last week of the month, the week of Black Friday. Footfall moved from being down 12.4 per cent in the third week to minus 17 per cent in the fourth week.
A lacklustre office return has held back retail’s brick-and-mortar recovery, as 53 per cent of those employed continue to work from home for at least part of the week.
Shoppers in London were also deterred from venturing out by tube strikes on Friday and bad weather on the Saturday. Instead of exploring nearby shops on lunch breaks, office workers instead chose to avoid the disruption and work from home.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard told CityA.M.: “Despite the tube strike, footfall rose in Central London by +13.3 per cent from the week before [on Black Friday]. The draw of large city centres is clear, as footfall in regional cities outside of the capital rose by +6.5 per cent whereas in market towns footfall dropped by -5.2 per cent from last Friday and only rose by +1.8 per cent in Outer London high streets.”
What’s more, a slow return of international tourism has also stalled the recovery of city centre shopping districts.
“Despite the increase in footfall, it remains -24.2 per cent below the 2019 level across all UK retail destinations.”