High streets witnessed a strong footfall uplift on ‘take back Tuesday’ and 2 January, Springboard reports


High streets witnessed a strong footfall uplift on ‘take back Tuesday’ and Saturday 2 January 2016, according to retail specialist Springboard.

A rush to return and exchange unwanted Christmas gifts on Tuesday 29 December 2015, known as ‘take back Tuesday‘, triggered a 5.1% YOY footfall uplift across UK high streets. A second peak was also experienced on Saturday 2 January 2016, with footfall across UK high streets up 9.7% YOY as shoppers braved the wet weather to make the most of the New Year sales.

Despite these peaks, footfall across UK high streets from Monday 28 December 2015 to Friday 1 January 2016 inclusive dropped by -3% YOY, with footfall down -2.6% YOY on New Year’s Day [1 January 2016]. This compares with an increase last year in high streets from Monday to Friday after Christmas of +6.2% YOY and +14.2% YOY on New Year’s Day. Despite this, High Streets were the destination of choice for shoppers on Saturday 2 January 2016, with a strong uplift of 9.7% YOY, with out of town retail parks and shopping centres only experiencing a 0.3% and 4.8% increases respectively. Overall, footfall on Saturday 2 January 2016 was strong, with the UK average up 6.3% YOY.

Whilst the wet weather impacted upon shoppers opting for covered and indoor places to shop, this decline in footfall is in line with the overall trend witnessed throughout 2015, and the rising strength particularly of out of town retail parks to draw shoppers away from the high street.

By comparison, shopping centres and out of town Retail Parks continued to draw shoppers during the week [28 December 2015 – 1 January 2016]:

  • Out of town retail parks enjoyed an uplift of 3.6% YOY, with New Year’s Day triggering an uplift of 7.8% YOY
  •  Shopping centres saw a footfall uplift of 1.8% YOY with a peak increase of 9.2% YOY on New Year’s Day
  • Overall, footfall across the UK was down -0.3% YOY for the period, with an uplift experienced across the UK of 2.7% YOY on New Year’s Day 

Diane Wehrle, insights and marketing director at Springboard, said: “Building on strong footfall experienced by High Streets this time last year was always going to be a challenge for high streets, and these figures show there a job to be done in 2016 to in order for a positive uplift to be realised. Throughout 2015, high streets continued to be challenged by the convenience, choice and customer service shoppers can find in out of town retail parks and shopping centres. There is a real opportunity for High Streets to improve their offer, without overhauling their infrastructure, in a bid to win back shoppers this year and hold off the continued rise of footfall to out of town retail parks in particular.”