UK footfall forecast to drop by fifth at Christmas

The cost-of-living crisis will drive a significant drop in footfall across UK High Streets in the months leading up to Christmas this year, according to new forecasts.

While footfall is forecast to increase by six per cent from November to December during the Christmas trading period, it will still be nearly a fifth lower than pre-pandemic levels.

The number of people shopping across British retail destinations during the Christmas month is forecast to be 18 per cent lower than pre-pandemic levels.

The figures, from retail statistics firm Springboard, suggest that footfall will decline month to month; by 4.9 per cent this month, 2.5 per cent in October, and 0.3 per cent in November.

The forecasts come weeks after the company warned that strengthening footfall would be 'short lived' as energy prices are expected to soar next month.

August figures were better than expected as inflation continued to rise during the month.

Talking about the anticipated dip in footfall later in the year, Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard said: “Potential unemployment rates may also have increased, as some businesses fail due to the increase in energy costs, which will further depress demand in store."

She added: "Footfall will rise in all three destination types from November to December, although the rise will be more subdued than in previous years - by 4.5 per cent on High Streets, by 5 per cent in retail parks, but by 10 per cent in shopping centres, which are the destination of choice for many shoppers when buying Christmas gifts due to the range of products that are available.”

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