According to figures from Springboard, the fall followed a 4.5% drop on Boxing Day and a decline of 2.3% over the period from 27 to 30 December. Over the four-day period after Boxing Day, retail parks remained the most resilient with footfall declining by 1.7% compared to drops of 1.9% in high streets and 3.8% in shopping centres.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: "The drop in footfall on New Year's Eve was unexpected, and particularly the magnitude of the decline. Last year footfall rose on New Year's Eve, but this was a response to a significant drop in 2015 which saw severe weather conditions. It was against this backdrop that it was anticipated that footfall would rise modestly. The mitigating factor may have been the wind and rain that was evident earlier in the day - from Storm Dylan - which could have led consumers to change plans, however, the weather had mainly cleared up by the early evening.”
Despite the year-on-year rise on New Year's Day, footfall dropped away markedly from 30 December. It fell by 14.4% between 30 December and New Year's Eve, and then by a further 9.7% between New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
Wehrle added: “Overall the Christmas & New Year trading period this year has been challenging for bricks and mortar stores, with noticeably lower footfall than last year. In part this is a reflection of caution amongst consumers, but is also a function of underlying structural shifts in consumers’ shopping habits due to online activity, and the fact that spending is spread across a wider range of products than ever before which is increasingly encompassing leisure experiences rather than purely physical goods.”
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