Published on 15 - December - 2011
Christmas sales "on a knife edge", says BRCFootfall on UK high streets fell by 2.6% year-on-year last week, according to the latest BRC-Springboard Footfall Monitor.
For the week commencing December 5, footfall in shopping centres fell by 1.9%, and declined 0.2% in out-of-town locations.
Compared with the previous week, footfall fell 2.2% on high streets and 1.4% for out-of-town, while shopping centres saw numbers rise by 1.3%.
Footfall in the week commencing November 28 was boosted by the effects of public sector strikes and the end of the month payday which fell during the period. On an annual basis, both high streets and out-of-town footfall measures saw growth of 15.6% and 15.9% respectively.
Shopping centres also performed well, with footfall rising by 8.9% year-on-year and 11.4% compared with the previous week.
British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said: "The final week of November was exceptional for footfall. Many people had just been paid and headed out, a sharp contrast to the same week last year which was blighted by heavy snow. The day of industrial action was also used by many, off work for the day, as an opportunity to hit the shops. In fact, the number of people visiting shopping centres was up by 40% on the day of the strikes compared with the same day last year.
"Retailers are telling us the increased footfall did translate into an increase in sales although some of this was spending brought forward, undermining shopper numbers the following week. Footfall should be on a rising trend as Christmas gets closer. This drop shows festive sales are still on a knife edge. The fact Christmas Day falls on a Sunday will mean some shoppers leaving purchases until the final Saturday, but with only one full week of trading to go before the holidays the final result is very much hanging in the balance."
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