Footfall continues to drop, with an unexpected -10.5% YOY drop seen on New Year’s Eve

According to the latest data from retail experts Springboard footfall dropped significantly on New Year’s Eve across the UK, declining by -10.5% over the 24 hours and by -7.2% between7pm and midnight. This poor performance follows drops in footfall on Boxing Day (-4.5%) but then also post Boxing Day, with a drop in footfall of -2.3% over the period from 27th December to 30th December. Over this four day period post Boxing Day, retail parks remained the most resilient with footfall declining by -1.7% against drops of -1.9% in high streets and -3.8% in shopping centres.

Footfall recovered on New Year’s Day, rising by +16.8% from New Year’s Day last year; however, at least part of this uplift will have been due to the fact that it fell on Monday this year. And despite this noticeable uplift in footfall from last year, the rise of +16.8% is not as great as the drop of -23.8% on New Year’s Day last year resulting in an overall drop of -7% over the two year period as a whole.

Despite the annual rise in footfall on New Year’s Day footfall dropped away markedly from 30th December – declining by -14.4% between 30th December and New Year’s Eve, and then by a further -9.7% between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Diane Wehrle, insights director, Springboard: “The drop in footfall on New Year’s Eve was unexpected, and particularly the magnitude of the decline. Last year footfall rose on New Year’s Eve, but this was a response to a significant drop in 2015 which saw severe weather conditions. It was against this backdrop that it was anticipated that footfall would rise modestly. The mitigating factor may have been the wind and rain that was evident earlier in the day – from Storm Dylan – which could have led consumers to change plans, however, the weather had mainly cleared up by the early evening.”

“Overall the Christmas & New Year trading period this year has been challenging  for bricks and mortar stores, with noticeably lower footfall than last year. In part this is a reflection of caution amongst consumers, but is also a function of underlying structural shifts in consumers’ shopping habits due to online activity, and the fact that spending is spread across a wider range of products than ever before which is increasingly encompassing leisure experiences rather than purely physical goods.”

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.

Year on Year % Change in footfall  – from same dates in 2016
  Boxing Day (24 hours) 27th to 30th Dec (24 hours) NYE 2017 (24 hours) NYE 2017 (7pm to midnight) NYD 2018 (24 hours)
High Street footfall -5.9% -1.9% -10.5% -7.2% 16.1%
Out-of-town footfall -2.1% -1.7% -7.4%   19.8%
Shopping Centre footfall -3.5% -3.8% -13.0%   15.8%
UK Average footfall -4.5% -2.3% -10.5%   16.8%