Black Friday expected to further boost recovery of East's high streets

Shoppers out in force in Norwich city centre on Black Friday

Shoppers out in force on a previous Black Friday - Credit: Steve Adams

East Anglia’s high street recovery got back on track last week after a post-autumn half-term dip.

Shoppers took to the streets the week before today’s Black Friday sales as Christmas shopping began in earnest.

And experts are predicting that today will bring a further boost, with Black Friday expected to drive up footfall by 19% across the UK, continuing into the weekend with rises of 13% on Saturday and 11% on Sunday.

Across the region, footfall was up 2.6% week-on-week last week, and 110.4% higher than last year when the pandemic was raging, figures from retail analysts Springboard show. But shopper numbers remained 12.5% adrift of where they were during the same period in pre-pandemic 2019.

And the region still lagged behind other parts of the UK, with its week-on-week footfall rise below the average of 4.1% up.

Across the UK, shopper numbers were up 107.6% compared to last year, but 12.4% down compared to 2019.
Springboard expects UK footfall across all retail destinations will rise by 7.9% in the week leading up to Black Friday compared to the previous week.

It predicts shopping centres will see the greatest uplift at 24%, while high street should see rises of 20% and retails parks 6%.

However, it believes that overall footfall will still be 14.4% lower than over the last comparable Black Friday weekend in 2019.

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Last week saw a rise· in footfall across all type of town centre, with the most marked increases in central London and regional cities outside of the capital, the analyst said.

Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said across the week as a whole the increase in footfall last week was nearly three times that of the week before.

“The beginning of the Christmas trading period began in earnest in many retail destinations last week, and it had an increasingly positive impact on shopper activity, ahead of Black Friday. In contrast with the week before when footfall rose at the weekend following the switch on of Christmas lights in a number of destinations, last week footfall rose from the previous week on every day apart from Sunday when it was flat from the week before,” she said. 

“High streets led the charge, undoubtedly supported by Christmas lights being switched on in town centres across the UK.”


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