Figures released today by Synovate Retail Performance show that the number of shopping trips made in the second week of December (Sunday 7th December to Saturday 13th December inclusive) were down more than last year.
The Retail Traffic Index, which measures the number of non-food shopping trips, stood 8.5 per cent lower for the period than the corresponding week last year, but increased by 4.5 per cent on the previous week (w/c 30th November).
Synovate retail psychologist Dr Tim Denison said:
“Last week was destined to be a testing week for retailers, falling between the first flush of Christmas kick-off promotions and the anticipated final-week bargains to come. We are seeing retailers throughout the country doing their best to stimulate business through imaginative promotions, but with such weak underlying demand it is proving difficult.
“There are still many uncertainties hanging over this Christmas. Something we do know is that the current week (Sunday 14th December to Saturday 20th December inclusive) will be the busiest this side of Christmas. We forecast that it will be 9.5 per cent busier than last week and retailers will be doing their utmost to boost trade.”
Meanwhile, Hitwise, has revealed today that searches for toys doubled during November.
Lego was the most searched-for toy brand with four of the ten most searched-for toys during November produced by the firm. Continuing the retro theme, Meccano was the fastest growing toy brand in November, with the Meccano Spykee WiFi Robot (pictured) its fastest growing product.
Robin Goad, director of research for Hitwise in the UK said: "Established toy brands, many of which have been around for decades, dominate the list of most searched-for toys this Christmas.
“However, these brands have not remained popular by standing still. The most successful ones have re-invented their well-loved toys by integrating new technology. Great examples of this include Lego, now a major video games publisher; Meccano, which has integrated the latest WiFi Internet technology into its products; and Fisher-Price, with its Kid Tough digital camera for children."