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November shopper footfall drops to lowest level since 2008 recession

Written by: Danielle Levy
UK shopper footfall in November sunk to its lowest level since the last recession, figures have shown.

Retail analysis firm Springboard found the number of people who visited the high street, shopping centres and retail parks across the UK in November fell by 3.2% year-on-year.

Some people may find these figures surprising, given that the UK’s biggest day for discount retailing – Black Friday – took place on 30 November.

Springboard’s marketing and insights director Diane Wehrle concluded that Black Friday delivered “no tangible benefit to bricks and mortar stores”.

“Footfall continued to decline as consumers stayed away from the high street in November. With one in every three pounds of non-food purchases made online last month, Black Friday accelerated the movement from in store to online in the lead up to Christmas,” added Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium.

The figures follow Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley’s recent declaration to MPs that the internet is killing the high street”. In order to counter this, he suggested that retailers which make more than 20% of their turnover online should be taxed.

“We have to realise the high street won’t make 2030. It’s not going to be there unless you do something really radical and grab the bulls by the horns,” he said at the time.

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