Shoppers shun Christmas sales as footfall drops amid Covid fears

Shoppers shun Christmas sales as footfall drops amid Covid fears
# 29 December 2021 11:12 (UTC +04:00)

The number of people taking advantage of post-Christmas sales on Monday fell by 32% compared with 2019, new data shows, amid persistent Covid concerns, APA reports citing BBC.

Retail analyst Springboard said footfall figures were better than Boxing Day.

But popular shopping destinations such as central London saw a drop caused in part by disruption to rail services.

Shoppers chose to visit retail parks on Monday, but footfall there was still down 7.2% from pre-pandemic levels.

That contrasted with a sharp drop in footfall on High Streets, down 40.1% on 2019, and in shopping centres, which recorded a 38.8% decline.

"The greater attraction of retail parks is in part likely to be a result of shoppers restocking groceries following the weekend's festivities," said Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard.

It is a reversal of the trend seen on Boxing Day when more people shopped on High Streets than in retail parks. However, overall Boxing Day footfall figures were far lower than pre-Covid levels.

Across the UK, Springboard said High Streets saw footfall drop on Boxing Day by 37.7% compared with 2019. Retail parks recorded a 40.2% decline in footfall while there was a sharper 48.4% drop in shopping centres.

Springboard said footfall declined on Boxing Day due to fears over Covid, as well as the fact the traditional start of post-Christmas sales fell on a Sunday this year and some big name stores opted to stay closed.

Companies including Next, John Lewis and M&S decided to shut on Boxing Day to give staff a longer Christmas break, though they launched their sales online.