• High streets record 11.7% boost in Boxing Day footfall
  • Online Boxing Day sales dip 3%
  • Bricks and mortar continues momentum during bank holiday weekend
  • Shopper numbers at retail parks soar 32.8% on Monday morning

High street footfall soared on Boxing Day as shoppers shunned online and flocked to bricks-and-mortar stores in search of post-Christmas bargains.

Shopper numbers increased 11.7% on Saturday compared with the same day in 2014, according to footfall specialists Springboard, as consumers hit the Sales during the afternoon rather than queuing outside stores in the early hours of the morning.

And separate figures from PCA Predict revealed that online Boxing Day sales suffered a shock 3% dip – the first time in years that they had declined.

Springboard marketing and insights director Diane Wehrle said an “interesting pattern” had emerged this year, as high street footfall edged up just 0.8% before midday on Boxing Day.

But there was a “dramatic increase” of 6.3% during the afternoon. Wehrle said it was likely that consumers were “using their first few hours of the day to search for the best bargains online and then venturing into the stores to purchase”.

That came after a record-breaking Christmas Day for online retailers. Sales on December 25 itself were up 21% on last year, making it the most lucrative ever Christmas Day for online shopping, PCA Predict said.

Department store giant John Lewis reported a 10.7% jump in revenues on the day compared with last year. The shopping spree slowed between 2pm and 4pm, as people sat down for lunch, before peaking between 9pm and 10pm.

PCA Predict co-founder Jamie Turner said: “As retailers started their Sales early this year, we did not see the usual surge in online shopping on Boxing Day.

“Instead, consumers had the convenience of being able to browse online throughout the entire Christmas period to find deals and discounts.”

Post-Boxing Day growth

Despite the day after Boxing Day falling on a Sunday rather than a Saturday this year, Springboard said shopper numbers continued to grow on December 27.

High streets recorded a 2.3% increase in footfall, while shopping centres received a 12.9% boost in traffic. The number of shoppers visiting retail parks grew 7.9% throughout the day.

Springboard said retail parks continued that momentum and were “booming” on bank holiday Monday as shoppers across the country opted to utilise click-and-collect services.

Footfall up to midday on Monday soared 32.8% at the out-of-town locations, but high streets and shopping centres dampened following a bumper weekend.

Springboard said shopper numbers up to midday were down 12.9% on high streets and 13.1% in shopping centres.