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Visits to physical stores on Black Friday 2021 beats 2019 levels as customers hit the shops

06 12 21 Visits to physical stores on Black Friday 2021 beats 2019 levels hero

New figures from Colliers’ LocateInsights* data set reveals that Black Friday this year drove footfall across the UK up by 18 per cent on the previous week as appetite for visiting physical shops rebounds. In 2019 there was no discernible change in footfall during the week prior to Black Friday and the day itself. 

The largest increase in footfall this year was seen in major out of town malls, such as Bluewater and Meadowhall, where there was an overall increase in footfall of 50 per cent on the week before the 26th November. 

Paul Matthews, director in the Retail Analytics & Strategy team at Colliers, comments: “It seems that whilst footfall might be subdued generally, people are willing to venture out for the shopping experience when they know there are good deals to be had. It is encouraging to see that after 18 months of headlines about the rise of online shopping, there is still a place for bricks and mortar when it comes to the retail landscape.”

In comparison to Black Friday 2019, Colliers data highlights that major out of town malls, neighbourhood and regional centres all show footfall increases; 31 per cent up in major out of town malls, a 44 per cent rise in neighbourhood centres and a 15 per cent increase in regional centres. However, overall footfall was 32 per cent down in major cities such as Leeds and Birmingham.

Paddy Gamble, director in the Colliers Retail Analytics & Strategy team, adds: “This reduction is footfall in large city centres may well be due to the reduction in people working from their offices and therefore not visiting the shops on their lunch breaks or after work. This would complement the findings that there’s the been an increase in visits to out of town and neighbourhood retail centres.

“Looking at the data across the UK, we see that across the board, excluding Oxford Street where the loss of tourists is delaying recovery, footfall is up on 2019 levels across Black Friday weekend and the two prior (circa seven per cent up). With footfall aligning closely with spending behaviour, it could be a bountiful Christmas for many occupiers this year, subject to the impact of the new Covid variant.”

*A UK wide data source powered by Fetch

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Paul Matthews


Retail Strategy & Analytics

London - West End

Paul is Director and co-lead of the Retail Strategy & Analytics practice, with 13 years’ experience working with occupiers to grow and optimize their store/branch portfolios. Prior to Colliers, Paul was Global Lead for the ‘Shape of Chain’ real estate analytics proposition at Accenture/Javelin Group.

He advises clients globally on store location and performance optimisation strategies, spanning the occupier spectrum from fashion, grocery and homewares through to F&B, leisure and retail banking (and beyond).

Paul’s experience includes sales forecasting for a US grocer, UK entry and roll-out strategy for an international F&B operator, branch rationalisation strategy for a UK bank, and estate conslidation strategy for a Telco merger.

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Paddy Gamble


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Paddy is Director and co-lead of the Retail Strategy & Analytics team, with 15+ years’ experience in data analytics and retail strategy. 

Prior to Colliers, Paddy co-led the Accenture retail strategy Analytics pillar and had overall responsibility for  the Javelin Group Commercial Spaces service line, delivering data led retail property projects focused on new development potential, acquisition appraisals and asset management of existing schemes. 

 Involved in the locations and customer analytics sector since 2002, Paddy has worked on a wide range of projects covering retailer location strategy, due diligence and shopping centre strategy and acquisition appraisals. He graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a degree in Business Computing.

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Rebecca Allen

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I have been working in commercial property communications for over 10 years  having previously worked at CBRE and Savills.

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