Belfast Telegraph

UK retailers reporting quiet first day of trade

By Jack Hardy

Retailers in the UK were hit by a drastic drop in the number of bargain-hunting shoppers passing through their doors on New Year's Day, figures show.

Shopping centres saw footfall plummet by almost half (49.5%) compared to the same day in 2016, according to research from retail analysts Springboard.

The high streets were also noticeably sparser of customers this year, down 12.7% on the year before, with a 23.8% average decline across all types of retailer.

Bad weather, reduced opening hours, and spending sprees at the start of the festive period, were all blamed for the dip.

On average, the weekend as a whole saw a drop of 16.1% across high streets, shopping centres and retail parks, the analysis said.

But increased sales poured in over the two days, thanks to online shopping, which shot up 6.8% - including 18.2% on New Year's Eve. High street footfall on New Year's Eve fell by 2.4%.

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