Springboard predicts grim Black Friday for stores but click & collect could be key
Black Friday will see plunging footfall in many parts of the UK as much of the country is in some sort of lockdown. But click and collect could hold out some hope for physical shops, a new forecast suggests.
On Friday, footfall tracking specialist Springboard said that it expects Black Friday visitor traffic to be down 59% on 2019, with a 58% drop over the three-day shopping weekend.
However, it expects retail parks to remain fairly resilient with a drop of ‘only’ 30.7% over the weekend as a whole, while high streets are likely to plunge 67.3% and shopping centres an even worse 64.7%.
It makes for grim reading as England remains in lockdown, Northern Ireland continues its circuit-breaker lockdown and big chunks of Scotland face heavy restrictions too. Wales emerged from its own circuit-breaker on November 9.
Springboard thinks that footfall in England will be weakest with a decline of 61.7% on Black Friday itself across all destination types.
Black Friday is typically the start of the intensive Christmas season and is the first key signifier of what retailers can expect during the most important trading period of the year. But this year, Black Friday weekend will be like no other due to pandemic restrictions.
Springboard said that “what will prove vital for the retail sector is to what extent high streets have learnt to adapt to the lockdown environment”.
It thinks the opportunity over Black Friday for high streets “is likely to focus on larger city centres where department stores and larger multiple retailers are able to accommodate click & collect services more easily”. This could also help some shopping centres.
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