Black friday footfall analysis

28 November 2018 by James Anderson

Love it or hate it, Black Friday is one of the major retail events of the year with some retailers offering huge discounts across products in a bid to attract shoppers to their stores. Insight Analyst James Anderson reviews the data from our network of SmartStreetSensor footfall devices to understand the footfall trends for this year compared to 2017.

Footfall Analysis – Black Friday Day

Screenshot 2018-11-28 at 12.00.12Figure 1: Percentage change in footfall on Black Friday in sample locations, 2017 to 2018. (Source: LDC)

When comparing this Black Friday to Black Friday 2018 and aggregating all of the relevant footfall data, all but one of the areas analysed in this research showed a decline – Manchester being the only one to see a marginal increase. Average percentage change in footfall across these locations was -6.5%.

Footfall Analysis - Black Friday Week

Screenshot 2018-11-28 at 12.03.50Figure 2: Figure 2: Percentage change in footfall on Black Friday week in sample locations, 2017 to 2018. (Source: LDC)

When looking at the whole of ‘Black Friday Week’ we see a similar thing – all but one of the locations in question saw a decline in footfall. Aberdeen showed a small increase and SW1 in London saw the largest decline. The average percentage change of footfall at these locations over the week is -5.3%.

Ben Terry, Head of Location Planning at Dixons Carphone said:
"The role of store has taken on new importance, offering additional functions for customers with many online orders serviced via Click & Collect or Pay & Collect. With much of the commentary quoting "online sales dominate Black Friday" it is important not to disregard this fact and forget about the strategic importance of the store within the customer journey."

Note: This analysis uses a sample of towns across England, Scotland and Wales with robust footfall coverage in town centres. When analysing footfall data, a key variable to consider when reviewing results is the weather on the day/s in question. When looking at weather information in Leicester (which showed the greatest fall) for Black Friday in 2017 and 2018 we see that there is no significant difference in temperature (7 degrees and 5 degrees for 2017 and 2018 respectively), and no significant difference in precipitation (sunny and fog for 2017 and 2018 respectively).

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