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Updated December 27th, 2023 at 21:27 IST

UK post-Christmas shopping numbers rise

Research group MRI Software reported a 4% rise in footfall across all retail destinations in the UK on December 26.

Business Desk
Post-Christmas shopping
Post-Christmas shopping | Image:Unsplash
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Post-Christmas shopping in the UK brought a glimmer of joy for retailers, with British shopper numbers on Boxing Day witnessing an increase from the previous year, particularly in London, according to research data released on Wednesday.

Research group MRI Software reported a 4 per cent rise in footfall across all retail destinations in the UK on December 26. Boxing Day, known for launching high-street sales, historically marked a time when the affluent would donate leftover Christmas Day festivities to the less fortunate during the Victorian era.

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Stores in central London experienced the most significant surge, with MRI estimating a 10.6 per cent increase in footfall, likely attributed to an influx of holiday tourists.

While overall shopper numbers still lagged behind pre-pandemic levels, with footfall 14.9 per cent lower than 2019 figures, the impact of inflation and the growing trend of online shopping were evident in the weaker numbers.

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Jenni Matthews, MRI Marketing and Insights Director, noted, "Many people may be tightening their purse strings given the cost of living status, or may still be spending time with their families on Boxing Day and not be heading out to stores and destinations until later in the week."

An analysis by GlobalData for internet marketing service VoucherCodes predicted a 2.9 per cent decline in overall retail sales, including both online and in-store, for this Boxing Day, amounting to £3.68 billion ($4.69 billion). The forecast for the entire week from December 25 to 31 anticipated a 3.8 per cent fall.

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Despite the Boxing Day dip, sales in the lead-up to Christmas showed a positive trajectory compared to the previous year. Mastercard data, encompassing both in-store and online retail sales, revealed a 2.6 per cent year-on-year increase in sales value during the November 1 to December 24 period.

Mastercard commented, "UK consumer spend volume during the period peaked during Black Friday, as savvy shoppers looked out for promotions to make the most of their spending and navigate inflation."

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(With Reuters inputs.)

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Published December 27th, 2023 at 21:27 IST

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