Christmas shopping to be busier than last year in the UK: Synovate

MUMBAI: The latest footfall figures released by Synovate for the full week commencing 4 December 2011, show that shopper numbers across the UK were 2.7 per cent down on the same week last year, but 2.4 per cent stronger than the week before.

Synovate Retail Performance director Tim Denison said, "After a busy start to the Christmas campaign at the end of November, last week‘s figures will be a slight setback for retailers. We would normally expect to see footfall swell by about six per cent over the previous week at this stage of the run up to Christmas, so growth of 2.4 per cent last week is disappointing. However, the week before was a strong one, boosted by striking public sector workers who took the opportunity to Christmas shop, so figures over the fortnight are still ahead of last year, by 2.9 per cent."

Looking at the regional splits for last week, the hurricane force gales certainly hit retail footfall hard in Scotland and Northern Ireland. There, shopper numbers for the week were 15.4 per cent down on the previous year; people clearly heeding the ‘stay at home‘ advise. The brightest part of the country for 4 December was London and South East England, where shopper numbers were nine per cent higher than the same week of last year and 6.9 per cent busier than the previous week.

"It strikes me that after such a hard year, people are determined to make the most of Christmas 2011. That doesn‘t mean they are indulging on the carefree credit spending sprees seen only a few years ago. Instead shoppers are putting a lot of extra effort in to make it a special Christmas without spending beyond their means. Everything is shaping up for 2011 to be a Christmas of ‘responsible shopping‘. With a fortnight still to go, and Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday this year, the month shaping up to be a solid one for retailing." adds Denison.

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