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Retail

UK Black Friday Shopper Numbers Down 1.6% Year-On-Year

By Reuters
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UK Black Friday Shopper Numbers Down 1.6% Year-On-Year

Shopper numbers across Britain on Black Friday were up 11.8% versus the previous week but fell 1.6% year-on-year, retail analysts MRI Software, said on Monday.

For the full Black Friday week, MRI, formerly known as Springboard, said shopper numbers, or footfall, rose 7.9% on the previous week and were up 2.0% year-on-year.

Destination Shopping

"All three destination types – high streets, shopping centres and retail parks – saw consistent rises in footfall throughout the week," commented Jenni Matthews, marketing and insights director at MRI Software.

"Shopping centres led the charge on Black Friday witnessing an increase in activity that was double that of the entire week. High streets performed much better than forecasted indicating the attractions put on by many town centres are serving their purpose in enticing visitors."

Overall activity in UK retail destinations remained 12.6% lower than 2019 levels, the data showed. Specifically, shopping centres and retail parks experienced a widening gap, with a decline of 20.4% and 5.7%, respectively, compared to the activity levels observed in 2019.

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Across the world, Black Friday appeared subdued compared with prior years.

In Britain, retailers were looking to the discount day to get shoppers spending after a subdued October.

Official data published earlier this month showed British retail sales volumes fell unexpectedly in October, stoking recession fears.

'Festive Events'

Summing up Black Friday shopping in the UK, Matthews added, "Festive events in cities and towns [...] likely played a role in these numbers as consumers looked to make the most of the day and create memorable experiences with loved ones.

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"For many, payday will have fallen on Friday – potentially the final one before Christmas – therefore the Black Friday sales provided the perfect opportunity to snap up those festive bargains.”

Additional reporting by ESM

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