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Black Friday weekend set to see UK footfall soar

Tom Bottomley
20 November 2021

UK footfall across all retail destinations is set to rise by 7.9% in the week leading up to Black Friday, compared to the week before, but the biggest increase will be seen over the Black Friday weekend, from 26-28 November 2021.

Footfall will peak at +19% on Friday, with rises of +13% on Saturday and +11% on Sunday, bringing renewed optimism for the retail sector this Christmas, according to the forecast from retail intelligence experts Springboard.

Shopping centres will see the greatest uplift in footfall of +24%, while high streets and retail parks will see footfall rise by +20% and +6% respectively.

The anticipated uplift in shopper activity on Black Friday weekend this year means that over the three days, from Friday to Sunday, footfall is forecast to be +107.5% higher than on the same three days in 2020. However, footfall will still be -14.4% lower than on the same three days in 2019.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, commented: “With retailing now back to full throttle, and shoppers having been deprived of the opportunity to visit bricks and mortar destinations in the run up to and over Christmas last year, we are anticipating that footfall will increase by +7.9% in the week of Black Friday from the week before.

“The increase in shopper activity is also likely to be a consequence of the concern around potential supply issues which could mean that unless chosen gifts are purchased early than they may not subsequently be available in time for Christmas.

“High streets and shopping centres will be the winners in terms of the uplift in shopper numbers, as consumers make the most of the opportunity to grab Christmas presents early to ensure they don't suffer from any supply shortages but also soak up the Christmas feel that was so absent last year.

“However, retail parks will continue to appeal to shoppers due to the compelling discounting offered by electrical and homeware retailers that is a key feature of Black Friday, together with their accessibility and free parking, which makes it easy and convenient for shoppers to click and collect online purchases.”

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