Boxing Day sales: will shoppers brave the highstreet or shop online?

Shopping centres reports a significant decline in footfall.

As the festive season comes to an end, Britain’s high streets are expecting a six percent increase in visitors than the average day.

A survey by Barclaycard found that shoppers are expected to spend more today than they did on this year’s Black Friday. 

The British Retail Consortium found that Boxing day spending had many factors, including weather, or the health of consumers’ incomes.

“Our data shows that sales of non-food products in the two weeks after Christmas are typically 20 percent to 30 percent lower than the average in the weeks leading up to Christmas,” said Rachel Lund, head of retail insight and analytics at the British Retail Consortium.

For many, high street sales have lost their appeal. A BBC Radio 4 found that 54 percent of people think Boxing Day sales have lost their appeal.

The survey spoke to 1,000 shoppers and was carried out for Radio 4’s You and Yours by consumer analysts, Savvy Marketing.

The data shows that people spent more money this Black Friday than last year and people can’t spend that money twice, so the Boxing Day sales will suffer,” said Catherine Shuttleworth, from Savvy Marketing.

“Shoppers expect things to be discounted because times are tough and family spending isn’t as flexible as it has been.”

Some stores are hoping to still entice customers out of bed and into stores. Harrods are putting on a Butler-themed musical performance for queueing shoppers this year.

Many retailers this year are starting sales on Christmas Eve. According to the Centre for Retail Research and VoucherCodes, almost £900 million will be spent online on Christmas Day. This is 11 percent more than last year.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said the number of shoppers on Boxing Day has dropped on four of the past five years.

“The need to go out has lessened but there is also growth in demand for leisure experiences which are diverting attention away from shopping. People may go out, but they may go to eat, see some sport or a show. The emphasis on the Boxing Day shopping trip is lower.”