The number of shoppers visiting UK high streets, retail parks and shopping centres on Black Friday is set to dip this year, as consumers continue tighten the purse strings, Springboard has warned.
Retail intelligence expert Springboard has predicted that footfall will fall by 0.6% year-on-year on Black Friday 2017, which takes place on Friday November 24.
Springboard attributes this drop in footfall to the increasing constraints on household budgets from rising inflation and the recent interest rate rise. Increasing to 0.5% in November, this latest impact, resulting in higher mortgage costs, has caused consumers to be even more cautious and tighten purse strings.
Traditionally Black Friday has signalled the start of the Christmas shopping season, with consumers purchasing big ticket items and electrical goods, however the current economic climate means this trend could see a shift this year.
Marketing and insights director at Springboard, Diane Wehrle, commented: “As well as consumers being more cautious with their spending habits due to inflation and interest rates rises, sales have also already started so there is no big moment in the lead up to Black Friday.
“This will certainly affect footfall across the country for the Black Friday weekend. Consumers simply won’t be as eager to spend because they have less money in their pockets and they have already been spoilt for choice as retailers have unusually run sales in the last few months, crucially outside of the traditional discount periods”.
Despite the drop in footfall year on year, retailers are optimistic that footfall will increase 18% on Black Friday compared to the previous week (Friday 17th November 2017), with UK high streets coming out on top with Springboard predicting to see a 20% rise in footfall week on week. This double digit growth is representative of a consistent pattern that the retail market has seen over the last three years in the week leading to Black Friday weekend.