// The cost of living crisis will cause footfall to drop in the lead up to Christmas, eradicating any gains made so far in 202
// Footfall will rise across retail destinations from November to December, although the rise will be more subdued than in previous years
The cost-of-living crisis is set to cause a challenging run-up to Christmas for retailers, with the number of people visiting UK shops this festive season set to remain almost a fifth below pre-pandemic levels.
Retail data firm Springboard has said that footfall across all UK retail destinations is forecast to decline month to month — by 4.9% in September, 2.5% in October and 0.3% in November, impacted by the tough economic backdrop.
Although it should rise from November to December by 6% during the Christmas trading period, with a 4.5% rise in high streets, footfall in December is still expected to be 18% lower than the same month in 2019.
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Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said:“We have been publishing footfall data since 2009 and in each year between 2009 and 2019 footfall dipped in September from August because of a drop in consumer demand following the end of the holiday season and the start of the school term. Covid heavily disrupted the two intervening years, but this year the drop in footfall will be more severe than in the same months pre-2019. This is due to consumers’ fears over the impact of the rise in energy costs expected in October on their household budgets.
“The second key factor, once again identified through past trends, is that footfall in November dips marginally, mainly due to a drop-in high-street footfall which tends to occur due to the lure of shopping centres for consumers over the Black Friday trading period.
“In contrast to the forecast for September, the drop in footfall in November this year will be mitigated by shoppers being likely to use the discounts available over the Black Friday period to buy Christmas presents with the hope of outrunning inflation.”
She added that as unemployment possibly rises, this could also dent shopping sentiment and that means those rises set to be seen in December will be “more subdued than in previous years”.