Shoppers stayed away from stores in November as they waited for Black Friday deals at the end of the month, new research suggests.
Footfall during the month fell by 3.4% in November, according to the Springboard Footfall Monitor and Insights for November 2019. The figure is similar to that of last year – footfall was down by 3.2% year-on-year in November 2018. Springboard says that it was also held back by poor weather and the late timing of Black Friday. This year, Black Friday fell on November 29 – and Springboard says that footfall on the day rose by 3.3% compared with last year – while the monitor covered the four weeks from October 27 to November 23. The last two weeks of the period were also marked by heavy rainfall that, says Springboard, meant footfall was down by 4.4% in the second half of the month.
“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,” said Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director. “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 Springboard findings suggest that high street footfall fell by 4.3% over the month, while visits to retail parks (-1.8%) and shopping centres (-3%) were also affected. The figures come a year after, last November, footfall also fell across high streets (-3.8%), retail parks (-1.4%) and shopping centres (-3.8%) and continue a declining trend.
“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,” said Wehrle. “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.”
Image: InternetRetailing Media/Paul Skeldon