Dismal start to 2017 for the High Street (Everyone shopped online)

Scream 677According to retail intelligence experts, Springboard, New Year’s Day sales marked a terrible start to the year for High Street retailers.

In start contrast to 2016, there was a 23.8% Year-on-Year average decline in footfall across the UK. Shopping Centres fared the worst with a steep decline of -49.5% Year-on-Year, compared to an increase on +9.8% experienced on the 1st of January 2016.

The poor start to High Street retail for 2017 was blamed on poor weather, an early December spending spree and Bank Holiday trading hours deterred shopping from stepping outdoors on New Year’s Day. Truthfully I can’t remember New Year’s Day 2016 that well but it’s hard to imagine it was balmy sunshine, wasn’t a Bank Holiday and shoppers hadn’t already blown their wad in pre-Christmas shopping. It sounds like poor excuses however true it may be.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard insights director says: “Retailers traditionally see the first trading weekend of the New Year as a sign of things to come, and if this still rings true the industry is set for a rocky 2017. The ease and comfort of online shopping proved too enticing for shoppers keen to snap up further discounts in the sales rather than bracing the cold outdoors. Shopping Centres in particular have a challenge ahead in 2017”.

That all suggests that shoppers were spending, just not in physical locations. If you hadn’t turned your website and marketplaces off over the Christmas period, how were your New Year sales?