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Boxing Day update: Mixed start to busiest shopping week of the year, says Synovate


UNITED KINGDOM - Footfall data released for Boxing Day, Sunday 26th December 2010 by Synovate Retail Performance show a mixed bag of results. Synovate’s Retail Traffic Index (RTI), which measures the number of shoppers entering over 6,000 non-food stores around the UK, shows that 22.8% fewer shoppers ventured out yesterday, compared to Boxing Day 2009. Given that 26th December fell on a Sunday this year, compared to a Saturday last year, the large percentage drop is not as bad as it seems. Against Sunday 27th December 2009, a more appropriate comparator, yesterday’s overall retail footfall, was also down, by 7.1%, although 41% of outlets in the sample recorded year-on-year growth.

“Retailers knew that Boxing Day this year was never going to be as busy in the shops as last year, given the restricted hours of trading on Sundays,” comments Dr Tim Denison, Director of Retail Intelligence at Synovate, “but they might have been expecting a little bit more from yesterday than they managed. In actual fact it was a bouillabaisse of a Boxing Day, with great variation in footfall levels around the regions.”

The strongest results were in London where 11.4% more shoppers hit the high street than on Sunday 27th December 2009. In Scotland also, footfall was significantly higher, up 7.4% against the same comparator. However, shopper numbers were down by as much as 27.0% in South West England and by 19.9% in Eastern England against 27th December 2009.

“The major retail honeypots were the principal winners yesterday,” continues Denison, "presumably because shoppers thought that’s where the best bargains would be. London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester all saw strong results, but other provincial cities such as Bristol, Newcastle and Norwich drew less people to the shops than Sunday 27th December last year. It seems to have been a more targeted approach to bargain-hunting than Boxing Day last year. Perhaps, aware that they had less time to shop, people prioritised on which stores to concentrate their efforts and as a consequence visited fewer stores during their trips and yesterday.

“We fully anticipate this week to be the busiest of the year and today, Monday 27th December to be the busiest day of the year for UK retailers” concludes Denison. “All the signs are favourable: the weather is expected to improve, some leftover Christmas shopping is still to be done, the VAT rise is just round the corner, and strong competition and promotional campaigns will encourage bargain hunting by the masses. Retailers will be doing their utmost to encourage shoppers into their stores this week, to clear stock, bolster revenue and cushion the impact of a quiet January. The week will play a large part in defining December’s results.”

Synovate will be issuing regular news releases over the start of the Sales. The next update is scheduled for 4th January.

About Synovate Retail Performance

Synovate 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.

Synovate 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 / Synovate Retail Think Tank, offering thought leadership on the state of retail health and the future of retailing.

For more information on Synovate Retail Performance click here.

About Synovate

Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates insights to help clients drive competitive brand, product and customer experience strategies. A truly borderless company with offices in over 60 countries, our ’biggest small company’ approach combines best in class global research capabilities with personalised service, local knowledge and the flexibility to create teams and processes that meet clients’ specific requirements. At Synovate, our clients sit at the top of our organisational chart, driving us to continually develop more innovative research solutions that predict actual business outcomes.

For more information on Synovate visit


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