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Boxing Day sales in the UK dip as Omicron concerns spread

By Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez

Dec 29, 2021

Business

Image: Boxing Day shoppers, UK

Boxing Day sales in the UK fell well below pre-pandemic times as concerns over the newest variant of the coronavirus spread across the country, keeping shoppers at home and multiple stores closed.

Footfall at shopping sites fell 45 percent below pre-pandemic levels

Footfall at shopping sites across the UK on Boxing Day up to noon fell 45 percent below pre-pandemic levels, per data analysed by retail expert Springboard. Major cities across the country noted footfall dips ranging from 67 percent in London to 58 percent in other major cities across the country.

North Ireland saw the steepest fall, as 73 percent less people than in 2019 went shopping in person. Footfall in Wales and Scotland was also considerably weaker than two years ago (63 percent and 50 percent lower, respectively.)

“A major reason for the significantly lower footfall compared with 2019 will be due to consumers’ ongoing nervousness about the Covid infection rate,” explained Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard.

On the bright side, Barclaycard predicted spending was likely to be up on last year and even 2019. Their analysis team surveyed British consumers regarding their expected spend for this sale and found out that they planned to spend an average of 247 pounds in the post-Christmas sales this year, up 85 pounds from last year and 61 pounds more than in 2019.

Image: Boxing Day shoppers, UK. Credits: Allan Rostron, Flickr

Boxing Day