'Super Saturday' delivers good news on footfall for UK retail
It may have been a rail strike day with snow and ice still on the ground, but ‘Super Saturday’ (17 December) didn’t disappoint the retail sector.
Sensormatic Solutions data “showed footfall rallied in spite of the rail strikes”. Its footfall index captures 40 billion shopper visits to stores gloabally each year and for the UK on Saturday, it showed that retail footfall rose 15% against a year ago, a 7% week-on-week improvement.
High streets performed the strongest of all retail settings, up 18.5%. Meanwhile major shopping hubs, including London, Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh saw uplifts of 19.5%, 12.5%, 19% and 21.9% respectively even with the access problems caused by the lack of trains. Nottingham fared the best of the UK cities, with footfall rising 25.8% on 2021 figures.
Super Saturday this year, taking place eight days ahead of Christmas Day, benefited from a strong in-person turnout that some had feared wouldn’t happen.
But it's possible that while the rail strikes may have discouraged some people from travelling into shopping hubs, the postal strikes and the threat to rail freight may have had the opposite effect. Many retailers have brought forward their Christmas cut-off dates for ordering online and it’s now too late to guarantee pre-Christmas delivery on many webstores. Some retailers have also urged shoppers to go to their physical stores in order to guarantee being able to get the products they want.
Andy Sumpter, EMEA Retail Consultant at Sensormatic Solutions said: “With industrial action across the mail and rail networks risking online delivery disruption to Christmas orders, we’ve seen shoppers take matters into their own hands and head out onto the high street in a bid to wrap up their Christmas shopping.”
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