Footfall to UK retail destinations jumped 40% year on year on Boxing Day as customers hunted for bargains amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Boxing Day Sale shoppers - River Island

Boxing Day footfall was still lower than before the pandemic

Springboard said a “key reason” for the bounceback from 2021 levels was the lack of Covid-19 restrictions – this time last year, the omicron variant was spreading and some restrictions were in place. 

Mild and warmer weather in many areas also played a part in luring shoppers out to retail destinations. Boxing Day in 2021 also fell on a Sunday and many retailers chose to close stores or reduce trading hours that day.

While Boxing Day 2022 was an improvement on the previous year, Springboard said footfall was down on pre-pandemic levels and customers are expected to spend less during the Sales due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. 

Footfall across all retail destinations was down by as much as 20% compared to three years ago. 

Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said the data would be “encouraging” for retailers, despite the impact of the cost-of-living crisis. 

December 27 footfall was 40% higher than on Boxing Day by midday on Tuesday across all destinations.

Retail parks saw an almost 70% boost in footfall on 27 December compared with Boxing Day – the only destination type to have recovered to something resembling pre-pandemic levels. 

  • Never miss a story – sign up for Retail Week’s breaking news alerts