Traditionally, Winter Sales on the high street always bring the ‘Golden Quarter’ to a close, delivering much needed turnover for retailers at the expense of their profit margin. This years sales are unique, due to the fact that these are the first ‘proper’ winter sales since the global pandemic took hold in 2020 – last year’s winter sales in physical retail were, curtailed by the third national lockdown.
This year’s winter sales got off to a strong start. With many retailers starting their offers early, pre-Christmas and with many offers ‘switched-on’ in the weeks leading up to Christmas, post black-Friday. Uniquely, footfall increased by 5% in the week between Christmas and New Year, an uncommon event. Dial back to 2019 (pre-pandemic) and footfall declined by -9% for the same period, so why the change? Were consumers cautious (due to omicron) before Christmas, but were motivated by ‘up to 70% discounts’ to visit physical retail post Christmas? On New Years Eve in London, retail footfall experts Springboard, reported that High-street footfall surged by +54.8% versus Christmas Eve? Had consumers shopped early for Christmas and didn’t need to make last minute purchases and stayed home to start the festivities?