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Here are the Top Five busiest days for Christmas peak retailing… are you ready?

Christmas 2022 needs tech to make it more efficient for all shoppers

Johnson Controls has released the annual ShopperTrak predictions of the top five busiest UK shopper traffic days for peak trading 2019. With more than 1.5 million data collection devices in the retail marketplace, the ShopperTrak brand captures 40 billion shopper visits each year. 

And this is what you need to be prepared for this year:

Super Saturday (21 December), the last Saturday trading day before Christmas, is once again positioned to be the UK’s busiest shopping day of the festive period on the High Street, according to ShopperTrak analysis.  Last year, Super Saturday represented a £1.4bn sales opportunity for UK retailers* and saw footfall on the High Street surge by 45% on the daily average.

Whilst Black Friday (29 November) itself doesn’t rank in the top five busiest days, 30 November (Saturday after Black Friday) is expected to be the second busiest shopping day of the entire Christmas period, demonstrating the continued importance of the discount day in driving in-store footfall and building momentum into the peak season.

Historical analysis also suggests that with only three Saturdays in December before Christmas, footfall in-store on these days will be more pronounced, accounting for Saturday 14 December and Saturday 7 December making the top 5 busiest days, at 3rd and 4thplace respectively. 

Boxing Day will remain a key date in the Christmas retail calendar for 2019; last year Brits spent £4.75billion in Boxing Day sales, with every 3 in 4 pounds spent in-store.**  However, with Boxing Day (26 December) falling on a Thursday this year, it is anticipated that the peak in shopper traffic will take place the following day, on Friday 27 December, as shoppers make the most of taking an extra day off to extend the Christmas break, allowing them to shop or return gifts.

Nick Pompa, Global General Manager at ShopperTrak, explains: “The top shopping days of Christmas represent a key sales opportunity for UK retailers, and it’s clear that the physical store remains critical to Golden Quarter success.  And this means the imperative is on retailers to prioritise in-store customer engagement during this critical trading period as an effective way to drive sales, customer retention and brand sentiment.” 

By leveraging insight from shopper traffic trends, retailers can optimise scheduling decisions, merchandise floor sets, inventory fulfilment and even loss presentation awareness, in order to make the most of the sales opportunities presented by the busiest days of peak trading.  Additionally, retailers can leverage traffic insights to make data-based staffing decisions in order to capitalise on potential sales and deliver an unparalleled shopper experience.

Understanding “power hours” can also help identify the best times for restocking inventory, updating displays and managing other customer fulfillment options, such as click and collect.  By using traffic data to identify less busy times in stores, sales staff can achieve all these essential tasks in a more-timely manner, leaving more time during busy periods to focus on the customer. 

“This festive time of year typically means more action and opportunity for shrink, as a result of high shopping volume,” adds Pompa. “Traffic insights can and should be used to help better prepare loss prevention staff to decrease shrink in key categories and high-end items, from shoplifting and organised retail crime (ORC).”

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