Footfall across all UK retail destinations in November edged up as Black Friday helped to “steady the month”, according to the latest MRI Software data.
November footfall was flat compared to the same period last year with no change but was “saved by a welcome boost in Black Friday footfall” during the final week of the month.
Overall footfall increased in November by 1% compared to October, following a 0.2% decline from September to October.
High streets saw a 0.7% decline in November, while retail parks and shopping centre footfall increased by 0.1% and 1.5% respectively.
High street footfall declined for the third consecutive month, impacted by adverse weather during the first week of November.
The gap from pre-pandemic footfall increased to -11.2% in November from -10.8% in October, which was driven by a “deterioration in high streets and shopping centres respectively”, despite there being an improvement at retail parks with the gap narrowing to -2.2%.
Footfall on weekdays exceeded footfall on weekends across all retail destination types during the month, with a 0.9% rise compared to a 1.9% drop from 2022.
MRI Software marketing and insights director for footfall analytics Jenni Matthews said: “Despite a challenging start to the month, with the return to school following the half-term break and Storm Ciaran causing disruptions across the UK, this represents the strongest month-on-month result since 2017. This may well be attributed to the Black Friday sales towards the end of the month, the final pre-Christmas payday for many and the attraction of nationwide festive events that drew consumers to retail destinations.
“The pivotal trading month for retail is upon us and retail destinations should approach this with enthusiasm following the week-on-week uplift in footfall for Black Friday. This signals the beginning of the countdown to the big day and while shoppers are still looking to maximise the savings they make, it’s clear to see that the investment in festive attractions this year is paying off in terms of driving footfall nationwide.
“Despite planned rail strikes and disruption from December 1-9, many towns and cities are embracing the festive spirit and are expected to introduce free parking on selected days as we edge closer to Christmas Day, which will act as a catalyst for high streets in driving footfall. These initiatives extend beyond just financial savings for many, presenting consumers with the opportunity to create memorable experiences.”