Extra holiday proves even more popular with shoppers than Boxing Day | Retail business

More shoppers flocked to Britain’s retail parks, high streets and shopping centers on December 27 than on Boxing Day, exploiting the extra bank holiday to hunt for bargains in post-Christmas sales.

The number of people visiting stores was nearly 40% higher than Monday, according to a study by retail data analysts Springboard, and higher than a year ago.

However, attendance remained well below pre-pandemic levels and was nearly 25% lower on Tuesday compared to the same day in 2019.

Shopping parks saw the biggest increase in visitors from the previous day, while more people also traveled to other shopping destinations, including city centers and shopping parks.

Industry analysts had predicted a calmer start to the traditional sales period as consumers tighten their belts amid the cost of living crisis and many stores followed major chains’ decision to remain closed. the day after Christmas.

However, the additional public holiday, following Christmas Day falling on a Sunday, attracted more customers once stores reopened.

Retail parks – usually located outside city centers and offering larger chain stores and ample parking – saw footfall rise by almost 64% on Tuesday, compared to the previous day.

Footfall in shopping centers was more than 45% higher on December 27 than the previous day, while it was up almost 20% on Britain’s high streets. Visitor numbers soared nearly 37% across all business destinations Monday through Tuesday.

The number of shoppers venturing out on December 27 was 12.8% higher than in 2021, when the Omicron variant of Covid-19 deterred some from shopping. Shop opening hours have also been restricted in some areas.

However, this year, with double-digit inflation, some consumers may choose to buy the items they need now, rather than wait and watch them become more expensive.

“The +36.6% increase in footfall between Boxing Day and December 27 suggests that consumers remain eager to shop after Christmas,” said Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard..

“Increased inflation may act as an incentive for many shoppers to secure their purchases ahead of any further price increases.”

However, central London bucked the national trend, with Boxing Day retaining its position as the most important shopping day after Christmas. Attendance fell by 3.4% in the capital on Tuesday compared to Monday, according to Springboard.

This is despite the fact that major chains such as John Lewis, Pets at Home, Poundland and Beaverbrooks remained closed on December 26, after deciding to reward their employees with an extra day off after the holiday season.

In other city centers, it is the opposite, since the number of visitors increased by a third (34%) on Tuesday compared to the day before.

The footfall figures don’t show the amount of money spent by online shoppers, however, where more than a third of this year’s Boxing Day bargain-hunting was expected.

Online spending on December 26 is expected to reach £1.25 billion out of a projected total of almost £3.8 billion, according to research by GlobalData for VoucherCodes.

More shoppers may decide to head to retailers in the coming days as some train services return to normal after the latest RMT union strike.

Retail analysts warn that the new year will remain challenging for retailers as consumers tightly control their spending.

“The coming months will continue to be challenging as winter bites and the Christmas and New Year’s financial hangover really starts to bite into the pocket,” said Andrew Busby, Head of Financial Services. retail at Software AG.

Busby added that consumers will “examine their purchases to new degrees”.

Leave a Reply