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Industry News December footfall reflects changing shopping habits

Published on January 16th, 2017 | by The GC Team

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December footfall records year-on-year decline

The latest data from the BRC and Springboard shows that retail footfall fell 0.2% in December, the fourth consecutive month of decline but a far shallower drop than the 2.2% recorded in December 2015.

Only the high street saw a rise in footfall during the month, up 0.8% on December last year, while retail parks fell by 0.7% and shopping centres fell for the eleventh consecutive month, down 1.9% year on year.

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard, said: “The +0.8% rise in high street footfall in December – which concluded a year when high street footfall moved from -1.9% between January and December in 2015 to -1.1% in 2016 – suggests that the supposition of the death of the high street has been greatly exaggerated.

“The shift in consumer demand from focusing on the purchase of physical goods to encompass experiences has clearly benefited the high street, as its offer has been able to transition quickly via an improved food and beverage offer which has helped to bring in much needed footfall.”

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said the modest bounce-back for high street footfall was the first positive December growth since 2011.

Commenting on the overall 0.2% decline in footfall during the month, she said: “Solid festive sales did not translate into a lift in footfall above last year as online continues to grab the lion’s share of growth.

“Ecommerce accounted for nearly a quarter of all purchases in December, suggesting that more shoppers than ever opted to go online rather than hit the shops.”

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