With two extra trading days this Christmas week (this year wk51 was from 18th to 24th Dec– the peak trading period – but wk51 in 2015 was from 20th to 26th which includes Christmas Day) the week was split into two, with shoppers delaying until the last days before Christmas. From Sunday to Wednesday retail footfall decreased by -7.7 per cent year on year, and increased by +13.1 per cent week on week but concluded the week +13.2 per cent against last year and +7.4 per cent against the previous week.
Retailers traditionally set their sights on the 23rd with the combination of payday and the inevitability of last minute shoppers and savvy bargain hunters, with Christmas Eve seeing the final purchases. shopping centres and retail parks saw the greatest surge with last minute shoppers taking advantage of extended trading hours resulting in increases of +13.8 per cent and +12.1 per cent against the previous week respectively. This could also be an indication of increased convenience for picking up click and collect orders as online spending increased against last year rising +18.2 per cent for the week as a whole and a rise of +30.3 per cent from Sunday to Wednesday.
However, high streets led the rise against 2015 with an annual increase of +14.8 per cent against last year led by North and Yorkshire, which saw an increase of +16.9 per cent. This may in part be a result of the mild weather for the time of year but the additional trading days benefitted all retail locations with shopping centres and retail parks increasing +11.2 per cent and +11.5 per cent.