Many retailers have decided to discount early this year and shoppers have responded
The latest UK footfall figures released by Ipsos Retail Performance in the run-in to Christmas make positive reading. For w/c 4th December the number of people out shopping was 10.8% higher than the previous week and up 0.9% on the equivalent week of 2011, according to Ipsos’ Retail Traffic Index (RTI).
“Christmas shopping stepped up a couple of gears last week,” comments Dr Tim Denison, Director of Retail Intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance. “Three weeks out, the average rate of growth is 6% week-on-week, so a double digit rise is considerably stronger than in recent years.
“The early surge suggests that shoppers don’t want to be caught on the back foot this year, either by weather conditions preventing them getting to the stores or by stock-outs of popular lines. The seasonal launch of new electronic products, such as the Wii U console, will also have been a contributing factor.”
Footfall levels for the week were strongest in the Midlands, where the number of stores entered by shoppers was up by 12.8% week-on-week and 4.8% year-on-year.
The strong result for the week helps close the gap on last year’s numbers for the month to date. The 6.7% deficit for w/c 25th November has now narrowed to -2.9% over the fortnight, 0.9% ahead of Ipsos’ projection at this stage for the month.
“If shoppers carry on in this fashion, December may be better than we had expected. Many retailers have decided to discount early this year and shoppers have responded. This is a different pattern of behaviour to recent years and it will be fascinating to see if the footfall growth is sustained over the next fortnight,” concludes Denison.
The next update from Ipsos Retail Performance will be released on Tuesday 18th December.
About Ipsos Retail Performance
Ipsos Retail Performance provides footfall monitoring solutions, shopper tracking systems and in-store behavioural research to retailers worldwide. Its core products - Shopper Count, Shopper Interact and Shopper Engage – scientifically measure all aspects of a shopper experience from store entry to exit. It supplies national and international retailers with essential business metrics to drive accountability and performance improvement.
Ipsos Retail Performance is home to the Retail Traffic Index series, which for over 10 years has been the industry’s leading tracker of national, regional and sector retail footfall trends. It is also co-founder of the KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank, offering thought leadership on the state of retail health and the future of retailing.
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