December sees rise of tactical shoppers

News release

Bruno Rost
Press Relations Manager, Business Strategies
+44 (0)115 96 85009 Tel Email

December sees rise of tactical shoppers

Retail FootFall Index - UK National December 2007: 
Month-on-month (December 2007 vs November 2007):  +6.5%
Year-on-year (December 2007 vs December 2006):                   - 2.8%

Nottingham, UK, 2 January 2007 - Three significant peaks in shopper activity during December failed to dent the overall trend for falling footfall, with nearly 3% fewer people out on the High Street compared to 2006, according to the latest figures from Experian® company FootFall.

The final two weekends before Christmas and the first days of the sales provided temporary boosts in shopper numbers, with some days showing year-on-year increases of up to 25%.  However, new figures from the Retail FootFall Index (RFI) for December show an overall decline in shopper numbers of 2.8% compared to 2006 and a month-on-month increase of just 6.5%, confirming that the underlying trend of falling footfall – seen throughout 2007 – continued into the crucial Christmas period.

Martin Davies from Experian comments:  “This year marked a watershed in the way consumers shop, with the traditional six-week seasonal shopping period on the High Street banished for good and replaced with just two peak weekends and increased Internet shopping. 

“However, falling footfall does not necessarily mean falling sales.  There has been a significant growth in channel choice over recent years, which means consumers no longer have to rely on the traditional High Street and can instead choose Internet browsing, supermarkets or big trips to retail parks where everything is contained under one roof. 

“Britain is now a nation of savvy shoppers who understand retail and use this power to shop efficiently and bag the best bargains.  Consumers held back from multiple visits to the High Street and instead condensed their festive shopping into one or two big swoops much closer to Christmas, by which time retailers had cracked under the pressure and introduced early sales and discounting. 

“Retailers will have to work hard to take the upper hand back from consumers next Christmas and the lessons learnt from this festive shopping period will be analysed long before the decorations are returned to the loft.  However, their first challenge will be to hold consumer interest past the Spring stock turnaround, especially as reality kicks in and consumers find themselves back at work and facing the first credit card bills of the year.”

- ENDS -



Notes to Editors
Please note, all information presented in this press release and references to the Retail FootFall Index (RFI) is owned by FootFall, an Experian company.  By issuing this release, FootFall is allowing the use of this statistical information in either printed, spoken or written format. However, the source of this information must be attributed to FootFall Limited, an Experian company, and the use of statistics to the Retail FootFall Index.

The Retail FootFall Index is endorsed by the BCSC, the membership organisation that represents the retail property industry, and, as such, is regarded as representative of UK shopping habits.  The RFI now measures over 150 million shopper visits per month in over 200 retail centres throughout the UK, covering more than 12,000 retail outlets.  Over 80% of the UK's population is contained within the catchment area of the basket of centres from which the RFI is produced.

The word 'Experian' is a registered trademark in the EU and other countries and is owned by Experian Ltd and/or its associated companies.

About Experian’s Business Strategies division
FootFall is part Experian’s Business Strategies division, one of the UK's leading economic forecasters, and is a world leader in the provision of retail business information to the retail and retail property markets. The Business Strategies division provides an understanding of consumers, markets and economies in the UK and around the world, past, present and future. Its focus is consumer profiling and market segmentation, retail property analysis, economic forecasting and public policy research, supporting businesses, policy makers and investors in making tactical and strategic decisions. As part of the Experian group, it has access to a wealth of research data and innovative software solutions.

The division’s economic research team is devoted to analysing national, regional and local economies for a range of public and private sector clients. Its statisticians, econometricians, sociologists, geographers, market researchers and economists carry out extensive research into the underlying drivers of social, economic and market change.