Black Friday to boost footfall – but is it stealing sales from Boxing Day?

The Black Friday boost to spending could come at the expense of shopping later in the festive period, analysts warn

Retailers are in for an early boost as Black Friday sales drive bargain hunters to the shops, but this will come at the expense of trading later in the festive period.

Footfall on Black Friday, an American import that is the biggest shopping day of the year and falls on November 27 in 2014, is expected to be 11.5pc higher than last year.

Retail parks will see the strongest growth, with footfall rising by 17pc, while shopping centres and high streets will see visitor increases of 12pc and 9pc respectively, according to Springboard.

However, the retail analysis firm said that this November boost comes at the expense of sales later in the year, as consumers do their spending earlier to capitalise on the Black Friday sales.

Footfall in the weeks between Black Friday and Christmas Day dropped 1.3pc last year compared to 2013, while the number of shoppers visiting stores on Boxing Day fell by 8.8pc.

“Despite the uplift that the new ‘tradition’ in our trading calendar brings for retailers, there is limited evidence of the benefit for retailers over the Christmas period as a whole,” said Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard.

“A key issue is the likely hit on footfall in retail destinations and therefore on bricks and mortar stores that Black Friday weekend will cause on the following weeks.”

Bricks and mortar retailers are also facing intensifying pressure from the growth of internet shopping, with customers increasingly preferring to spend online from their home or workplace.

Online spend on Black Friday is expected to hit £1.07bn in 2015, a 32pc increase on last year’s £810m, which would mark the first time that internet retail sales in the UK will surpass £1bn in one day.

Experian-IMRG predicts that internet sales on Cyber Monday, the Monday that rounds off Black Friday weekend, will grow 31pc to £943m, while online shopping on Boxing Day will rise 22pc to £856m.

Black Friday falls on the day after Thanksgiving, when Americans are typically not at work. Amazon brought the annual bonanza to the UK five years ago but it took off with full force in 2013 with deals from Asda, which is owned by US retail giant Walmart.

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