Saturday 28 December 2019 10:45 am

Boxing Day shopping slump as retailers suffer sharp decline in footfall

Boxing Day shopping footfall fell at its steepest rate in nine years due to rain and Black Friday deals.

In the period up until noon on 26 December, footfall was down by 10.6 per cent on the same period as a year ago, according to data company Springboard.

It was the biggest decline since 2010, when Boxing Day fell on a Sunday, which sees trading start at a later time.

Read more: Boxing Day suffers as Brits cash out on bumper Black Friday

High streets were hit hardest, down 13.6 per cent, while shopping centres and retail parks saw a decline of 8.8 per cent and 5.9 per cent respectively.

However business did pick up later in the day – with footfall falling 8.6 per cent for the day as a whole.

It was still the worst decline since 2011, Springboard said.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said of the updated figures: “This is further evidence that consumers are now shopping later in the day on Boxing Day.

“The demand from consumers for trips to bricks and mortar destinations that include other activities such as leisure and eating out, as well as shopping, continues to strengthen.

“It is clear that consumers visited high streets more in the early evening than during the day, with footfall improving from -13.8% up to 5pm to -6.5% between 5pm and midnight.

“This is not unexpected as high streets have more independent stores, a greater proportion of which will have been closed on Boxing Day.”

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The figures may have been hampered by the rain seen on Boxing Day across much of England, as well as the increasing number of Black Friday deals before Christmas.

However, it reflects a disappointing end to a difficult year for the High Street, which has suffered from waning consumer confidence.

Wehrle said online shopping, Black Friday, and continued celebrations into Boxing Day, meant that the 26 December “is indisputably a less important trading day than it once was.”

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