Retail footfall declined by -3.4% in November, compared with -3.2% in November last year, according to the latest Springboard Footfall Monitor.
However, November did not benefit from the success of Black Friday in these results, as it occurred outside the period covered by the survey. Meanwhile, heavy rain impacted footfall in the last two weeks of the month.
High street footfall fell -4.3%, retail Park footfall by -1.8%, and shopping centre footfall by -3.0%.
“Black Friday fell outside of the November trading period, which meant that the month didn’t see the benefit of the +3.3% increase in footfall from Black Friday 2018," says Diane Wehrle, Springboard's marketing and insights director. "Footfall dropped by -3.4% in November, and this was also partly a result of severe rainfall in the latter half of the month which meant that footfall declined by an average of -4.4% compared with -2.4% over the first two weeks.
“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.
“The fact that the Black Friday weekend also started on payday heightened the chances of a spending spree which took place after the month had ended. This pent-up demand is clearly evident from the fact that footfall in the last week of the month in shopping centres dropped by -5.2%, more than in high streets and retail parks. Having the greatest concentration of retailers heavily promoting discounts, it was not surprising that it was in shopping centres where footfall increased most over Black Friday.”