The penultimate shopping week before Christmas including ‘Panic Saturday’ saw an increase in footfall of +5.6 per cent against the previous week with increases seen throughout the UK as consumers headed out in earnest for their holiday shopping. Unfortunately, this weekly rise did not translate into an annual change, with an overall drop of -2.5 per cent, which was reflected by footfall on ‘Panic Saturday’, which saw a drop of -2.3 per cent against 2015. However, as with the trend of the figures throughout the year, there is a slowing in the rate of decline from 2015, which saw an annual drop of -3.8 per cent for the same week and a ‘Panic Saturday’ result of -4.6 per cent.
This change in trend is most noticeable on the high street where footfall volumes fell annually just -1.3 per cent, a contrast to the drop of -5.0 per cent for the same week last year. Greater London saw the biggest benefit of the week with an annual increase of +1.1 per cent, accompanied by dips of just -1.5 per cent and -1.7 per cent in the East and East Midlands.
In contrast, shopping centres and retail parks did not seen the same improvement, with retail parks experiencing a significant change in fortune to last year. Both locations increased against the previous week with shopping centres seeing a rise of +6.9 per cent against the previous week. Retail park numbers increased +5.0 per cent against the week but dropped -3.5 per cent against last year, which except for the shift in Easter, is the biggest drop of the year and follows a 2015 result of -0.9 per cent.