Nov 28, 2019
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Footfall to drop again on Black Friday says Springboard

Nov 28, 2019

Physical stores expecting a Black Friday weekend boost might be disappointed with specialist tracking company Springboard predicting a 4.5% drop in footfall on the day itself and a 4.4% fall for the Friday-to-Sunday period. That will translate into a 4.8% drop on Saturday and 3.7% fall on Sunday.

Black Friday is seeing waning enthusiasm from UK shoppers in physical stores

And it looks like high streets will be the biggest losers as their fall is predicted to be bigger than either retail parks or shopping centres. However, all three destination types will suffer, with none of them seeing positive (or even flat) footfall on any of the three days.

This follows a decline in footfall on Black Friday over the past two years, suggesting “the UK’s appetite for this pre-Christmas spending spree may be wavering,” in physical spaces, at least.

Footfall declined by 5.4% and 3.6% in 2018 and 2017 respectively, and while Black Friday falls on pay-day this year (rather than a week earlier as is usual), that fact isn’t expected to boost consumers’ enthusiasm for shopping.

Springboard said “the prevalence of discounting from retailers throughout the year, combined with the scepticism surrounding whether Black Friday discounts are better than those being offered generally, means that consumers are paying less attention to this period as a whole”.

The company’s insights director Diane Wehrle added that consumers are aware that many discounts are increasingly made available online rather than in-store, “therefore those who do want to shop may stay within the comforts of their home for convenience”. 

However, Springboard also said that even spending online is likely to be muted over Black Friday. IMRG is forecasting a rise in online sales over the entire Black Friday period of only around 2% or 3%, but highlighted that there’s a very real possibility that spending could be flat.

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