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    Christmas shopping lifts footfall

    (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

    Christmas shopping boosted footfall across UK retail destinations. shows recent data.

    Latest data from MRI Software (previously Springboard) shows that footfall across UK retail destinations rose by 6.1 per cent from November to December, boosted by the final trading week before Christmas, which saw footfall climb 11.2 per cent.

    Shopping centres led the charge with a rise in footfall of 11.1 per cent in December compared to the month before. This was followed by retail parks (+5.9 per cent) and high streets (+3.7 per cent). MRI Software noted that this was indicative of the diverse offerings of shopping centre destinations, from eating out to a multitude of retail brands, making them a preferred choice for consumers during the festive period.

    Compared to 2022, footfall rose marginally by 0.2 per cent across all UK retail destinations. However, this was largely driven by activity in high streets where footfall rose by 1.2 per cent versus a modest rise of 0.1 per cent in retail parks. Shopping centres witnessed a decline of 1.9 per cent.

    Furthermore, the month of December witnessed an improvement in footfall performance from the 2019 pre-pandemic level as it narrowed to -10.4 per cent across all UK retail destinations. This was the second best result recorded for the year, following June’s result when it was 8.6 per cent lower than 2019.

    Jenni Matthews, head of marketing and insights at MRI Software, commented, “As we look ahead to January, a natural post-Christmas slump is anticipated, with footfall projected to decline in the region of 20 per cent to 25 per cent. Weather warnings and a one-week delay in the return to school for many regions across the UK may lead to subdued footfall at the start of the month.

    “However, this should improve as the month progresses, compared with 2023 levels, particularly with more and more employees returning to offices.

    “The financial constraints felt in the latter part of 2023 for many consumers are likely to continue into the early part of 2024, which may also impact footfall in UK retail destinations.”

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