Black Friday fails the High Street as consumer spending and footfall dips in November

November spend dips 1.5 per cent from last year, despite the allure of major discounts through Black Friday weekend.
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It seems that even the allure of major discounts surrounding Black Friday weren’t enough to save consumer spend from a one per cent dip in November.

Last month saw only a 1.1 per cent rise in High Street spending, down from 2.1 per cent in October and down 1.5 per cent in like for like sales last year.

The disappointing results of last month’s High Street shopping habits arrive courtesy of Visa’s latest consumer spending index compiled by Markit.

While High Street shopping suffered a dip, online spending continued to rise, up 4.1 per cent compared to last year, while the most money seemed to be spent on entertainment such as hotels, restaurants and bars as the category saw an 8.5 per cent rise compared to last year.

But while the result paint a less than positive picture for High Street spending, Kevin Jenkins, managing director of Visa Europe has stated that the data suggests a flat, rather than declining performance on Black Friday itself.

“How long it takes for a Christmas stampede and how much appetite consumers have left following days of discounting should emerge in the next few days,” he told This Is Money.

“It’s already clear though that the big winners this year were retailers who got their integrated offering right.”

Meanwhile, Springboard delivers more bad news for the High Street as it reveals that average UK retail footfall continues to fall by 2.7 per cent year on year in the wake of Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday.

The overall decline footfall has reportedly been driven by ‘significant falls in high street and shopping centre activity, which recorded -4.2 per cent and -3.4 per cent year on year drops, respectively.’

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, said: “The volume of activity in retail stores in the week following Black Friday weekend has dipped further on the back of strong activity within the eCommerce space.”

While the last payday before Christmas has traditionally driven a spike in sales for brick and mortar retailers, Wehrle suggests that there is ‘strong evidence that the spending patterns of consumers are changing.’

“For the first time this year, Black Friday long weekend was on online shopping experience for consumers, and it appears that click and collect opportunities have not generated the uplifts in footfall that some retailers may have hoped for,” she said.

Now in the lead up to Christmas, Springboard expects to see online shopping continue to make dents in footfall activity.

“However, as most last order dates for online Christmas occur on December 18th and 19th, it is possible that we will see that traditional spike in footfall on December 23rd as consumers head in store for last minute Christmas buying.”


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