According to footfall monitoring specialist, Springboard, there is expected to be a significant increase in footfall during Black Friday, with a predicted rise of 7.9%. This surge in footfall is expected to surpass the final week of Christmas trading, which is anticipated to see a 6.5% increase.

However, the outlook for footfall in UK retail destinations this Christmas is not as positive. It is projected to be 17% lower than in 2019, continuing the downward trend seen in September. The decline in footfall is expected to be particularly pronounced in high streets and shopping centres, with declines of 17.7% and 17.5% respectively. On the other hand, retail parks are expected to show resilience, with a potential increase of 5.5% in footfall.

Despite the overall decrease, there is some optimism for large city centres. Springboard suggests that consumers are eager to experience the Christmas shopping atmosphere that was absent last year, leading to a predicted strengthening of footfall over the six-week period.

Following Christmas, footfall in high streets and shopping centres is likely to decline by approximately 20% as consumers become less interested in Boxing Day sales. However, compared to the same period in 2020 when the UK was under its second lockdown, this year’s footfall is expected to be 80.9% stronger.

These footfall forecasts come at a time when supply chain issues are a major concern for the retail industry. Retailers are preparing for potential disruptions during the critical six-week period covering Black Friday, Christmas, and post-Christmas sales. It will be crucial for businesses to navigate these challenges carefully in order to ensure a successful festive season.

In conclusion, Springboard predicts a significant increase in footfall during Black Friday, surpassing the final week of Christmas trading. However, overall footfall this Christmas is anticipated to be lower than in 2019, driven by declines in high streets and shopping centres. Despite this, retail parks and large city centres are expected to experience increased footfall. Retailers must be adaptable to these changing trends and effectively manage supply chain challenges in order to make the most of the upcoming festive period.

Useful links:
1. Springboard
2. Retail Gazette