Christmas will arrive early for shoppers who are wary about supply chain issues

person walking inside building near glass

This holiday season, shoppers will be starting to shop early due to a possible supply chain crisis. Expectedly, retail footfall will rise more than Black Friday than in the week before Christmas.

Consumers are becoming more aware of possible issues and will likely push shoppers to shop for Christmas earlier than usual, in order to ensure that they have the best selection.

Springboard, a retail insight and forecasting agency, predicted a 7.9 percent increase over Black Friday, November 22nd, as compared to 6.5% the week prior.

person walking inside building near glass

Springboard predicts that footfall in UK retail destinations will be 17% lower this Christmas than it was in 2019, continuing the trend seen in September 2021. High streets and shopping centers will drive the decline in UK footfall, but retail parks will continue to show resilience through Christmas strengthening by 5.5 per cent.

Over the six-week Christmas period, footfall will rise in major cities, surpassing smaller high streets as shoppers seek the Christmas shopping experience that they missed last year. Footfall will increase by +80.9 percent compared to 2020, when the UK was put into lockdown 2.0.

Many shops will be closed on Boxing Day

Boxing Day is Sunday’s first day of the week after Christmas. Springboard highlights that Boxing Day footfall has fallen in each year since 2016, and dropped by -8.6 per cent in 2019, compared to Boxing Day 2018. This trend is likely to continue as many leading retailers have announced their intention to close.

Footfall in shopping centres and high streets will decline by about -20% during the week following Christmas. This trend has been ongoing for the past decade. In the week after Christmas, however, increased footfall to retail parks will be driven by the need to replenish groceries and food post Boxing Day as well as discounting.

Springboard’s Insights Director, Diane Wehrle commented that the continued impact of the covid-19 pandemic and the supply problem associated with the shortage HGV drivers will cause additional problems for brick and mortar retailers during the Christmas trading period. The end of the furlough program, which coincides with recent increases in energy costs, will likely further reduce footfall. This is because household spending on Christmas gifts is limited and family experiences are preferred.

“Footfall will rise by 80.9 percent in comparison to 2020. However, this result is not accurate as last year, retailers had to close for four weeks starting at November 1st, which coincided with the two week Christmas trading period. While footfall will increase over the Christmas trading period it will still be lower than pre-pandemic levels. This is due to the long-term shift in some spending online, which has had an impact on footfall by about -1.5 percent per year for the past decade.”

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