November washout hits footfall in stores
THE number of visitors to the nation’s shops fell by 3.4 per cent last month as a winter washout put many off, analysis has revealed.
The fall in footfall from November 2018 to 2019 was even greater than the 3.2 per cent decrease the previous year and was blamed on heavy rain in the last two weeks of the month.
And the decline on the high street was even more pronounced, with footfall down 4.3 per cent after a 3.8 per cent drop between 2017 and 2018, according to retail analysts Springboard.
Though Black Friday, a day where most retailers offer highly promoted sales, fell on November 29 it was not in the monthly trading period so didn’t count towards the results.
Springboard Marketing and Insights director Diane Wehrle said: “Whilst the heavy rain will have deterred many shoppers from making trips to retail destinations, the poor footfall in the second half of the month will have been exacerbated by the proximity of Black Friday discounts.
“Alerts arriving on a regular basis into consumers’ inboxes in the run-up to Black Friday enabled consumers to watch the retail market easily and identify the depth and spread of discounts being offered.
“If they weren’t already planning on doing so, this will have led to many consumers pulling back on trips to destinations, causing a spending freeze over the last two weeks of the month, in anticipation of big discounts on current stock.”
On Black Friday itself there was a sharp rise in sales. Barclaycard, which processes about £1 of every £3 spent in the UK, said it was an “outstanding” Black Friday compared with last year.
It said transaction value was up 16.5 per cent compared with 2018.