The British Retail Consortium has revealed that online sales have hit UK high street shopping.
High street Fashion retailers have suffered the “Black Friday” effect, recording a drop of in store footfall in November.
According to the British Retail Consortium and consultants Springboard, the number of shoppers in UK stores fell 2.1% compared to the same time last year with many taking advantage of online deals. In October footfall was down only 0.2% continuing the eight consecutive months trend of falling customers number.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC said: “Shopper footfall wilted once again last month, as consumers shunned high streets and instead sought to take advantage of online ‘Black Friday’ promotions and discounts which often ranged across several days.”
“As a result November was the eighth consecutive month in which shopper footfall declined, and at a faster rate than the three-month,” she said.
With many stores on the high street launching the End of Season Sale last week, there is uncertainty over the performances of retailers – Black Friday might have broken the traditional Christmas shopping cycle.
Research has shown that with the exportation of “Black Friday” from the US, UK shoppers might be more willing to spend their budget all at once, taking advantage of new product bargains rather than buying old stock over the Christmas period.
According to BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, the impact of Black Friday on last year Christmas Sales resulted in the lowest growth since 2008, only 1%. While online shopping on that period has its lowest growth ever of just 7%.
Despite the similar scenario and the low figures recorded this year, Michelle Greves, centre manager at Victoria Square shopping centre in Belfast, is still expecting a boost in sales and footfall over the holidays. “Trade in the build-up to Christmas is going just as we’d expect and we anticipate that the next 13 days will be the busiest we’ve seen,” she told the Belfast Telegraph.