Shopping footfall rises to boost SMB hopes

Monday 10 December 2012

The UK witnessed a significant rise in shopping activity during the first week of the festive season - potentially good news for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

According to the Ipsos Retail Traffic Index (RTI), the number of non-food shopping trips was up 11.2 per cent in the week commencing November 25th.

The firm says the rate of acceleration at this point in the campaign is slightly better than it was last year, and well ahead of the three years prior to that.

Ipsos had expected to see a ten per cent rise in the number of shopping trips between November 25th and December 1st.

"It looks as if shoppers have taken heed of possible stock shortages on top selling lines and have got out there early and made a start on their gift buying this year," said Dr Tim Denison, head of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance.

“The long range forecast of a prolonged spell of wintry weather may also be playing on the minds of people who got caught out and were unable to reach the shops in time in the past two years."

He said that if things continue in a similar vein, December footfall may be slightly stronger than the 2.1 per cent deficit on last year his firm has forecast.

This would be "welcome news" for retailers in the UK - and in particular SMBs who are hoping for strong takings over the Christmas period.

Posted by Jenny Arthur