Monday 10 December 2018 12:01 am

Footfall takes a tumble as online retailers snap up Black Friday business

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Footfall slumped for the twelfth consecutive month in November as brick and mortar stores saw their Black Friday business snapped up by online competitors.

Footfall in the UK fell by 3.2 per cent last month, a significant decline from the 0.2 per cent growth seen in the same period last year, according to retail data firm Springboard.

The new figures show the waning benefits of Black Friday for high street stores, as customer demand shifts from 24-hour in-store sales to longer online offers.

High street shops felt the worst of the decline, with footfall sliding 3.8 per cent, the largest month-on-month fall since April.

The east Midlands and the south east were the hardest-hit regions, seeing falls of 6.5 per cent and six per cent respectively.

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, said: “The drop in footfall in November is indisputable evidence that Black Friday delivers no tangible benefit to brick and mortar stores.

“While online shopping was inevitably more prevalent than in other months, the vast majority of spending still remained in-store and this is what Black Friday impacts adversely.”

The figures also illustrate how online Black Friday flash sales have replaced traditional in-store offers in the run-up to Christmas.

The report forecast a 4.2 per cent decline in footfall in December, an increase on the 3.5 per cent fall last year.

Brick and mortar retailers also face pressure from a decline in consumer confidence in the run-up to Brexit.

Consumer spending growth fell year-on-year in November to its lowest level since March, according to figures released by Barclaycard.

British Retail Consortium (BRC) chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “It has been a difficult year for many retailers and the outlook remains challenging as Brexit uncertainty grows.

“Retailers will be following the upcoming parliamentary vote closely and hoping parliament can secure a transition period to allow businesses time to adapt to life outside the EU.

“Without this transition, consumers face higher prices and less choice on their shopping trips.”