Christmas Day falling on a Sunday and the recent public sector strikes will give a welcome boost to retailers who have been fighting some of the most challenging conditions for years.
According to Jonathan Webb from DTZ’s retail team, retailers effectively losing just six hours trading time over Christmas on top of the boost in footfall from more than a million people off work for an extra day could make all the difference for hard pressed retailers.
He said: “Although last month’s public sector industrial action was economically damaging to some sectors, on Wednesday November 30 many retailers experienced record breaking sales. Landlords and retailers alike benefitted from the ‘strike spike’, with footfall up 30 per cent nationally on the day. The good news is that footfall figures are set to increase throughout December.
“December 2011 is likely to produce much higher footfall figures than last year and, with Christmas Day and New Years Day both falling on a Sunday, stores will be able to maximise their trading hours over the busiest period of the year. Add to this that we have not experienced the inclement weather that blighted shopper mobility in 2010, means that year-on-year figures will make for good reading.
“However, this may not necessarily translate into an overall increase in spend, as household economics and ‘belt tightening’ mean disposable income is becoming more guarded. Despite this, High Street chains have been keen to entice shoppers into their stores, evidenced by a large amount of special offers and pre-Christmas sales, as well as the internet, in what could be the most discounted Christmas ever.”