Boxing Day shows challenging trading for retailers as figures show footfall fell 4.5% YOY

According to the latest data from retail experts Springboard footfall is -4.5% lower from Boxing Day last year.  This was one of the most challenging boxing days that bricks and mortar stores have seen since Springboard first published Boxing Day activity in 2012. This reflects the trend over the entire Christmas trading period, with footfall dropping in high streets and shopping centres by more than in retail parks (-5.9% in high streets and -3.5% in shopping centres compared with -2.1% in retail parks).

Diane Wehrle, insights director, Springboard: “This undoubtedly reflects the extent of discounting that has already occurred – particularly over Black Friday – and also the growth in online trade this year.  In addition to this, Black Friday now rivals Boxing Day in terms of the volume of footfall generated and so its influence as a key trading day in the retail calendar has been diluted.”

Diane Wehrle adds “The success of retailers’ in terms of their sales performance is yet to be identified, however, the extent of discounting together with the fact that that stores still account for around 80% of total spend, and that activity in bricks and mortar stores declined, suggests that sales will be lower this year on what was traditionally the key shopping day of the year.”

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive, New West End Company representing Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street businesses, said: “The Boxing Day sales in London’s West End continue to be popular with many domestic and international shoppers out in force today. Chinese shoppers in particular have helped boost till receipts to £20 million by lunchtime yesterday, with luxury purchases such as handbags and winter fashion in high demand. Although footfall was down in single digits on last year we are still expecting solid sales with average spend increasing and over £50m to go through West End tills by the close of the day, driven by discounts of up to 70%, which will continue through the week.”

Springboard is the leading provider of automated footfall monitoring services for an entire range of customer-generating environments including the UK’s high streets, retail parks and shopping centres. Springboard’s National High Street Index provides the only available measure of town centre performance-gathering footfall counts continuously, 24 hours a day, across 125 UK towns and cities with 24,888 hourly counts a day, 174,216 a week and 696,864 a month.