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Online shopping increases as bad weather hits in-store footfall

05 January 2017 - 13:38 by Graham Miller

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New data from Springboard Insights suggests that the number of people visiting bricks and mortar stores was down by 23.8 per cent annually, according to IB Times.

The high street itself fared better than expected, although still saw a double digit decline in footfall of 12.7 per cent. Meanwhile, shopping centres were much worse off, with 49.5 per cent fewer visitors over the past 12 months.

However, shopping online continues to appeal to consumers in the UK as an alternative to hitting the high street. But analysts pointed out that there are other factors at play here, with cold weather in December putting people off the idea of heading out to brave the chill.

Retail has traditionally been highly susceptible to seasonal peaks and troughs, since people can be encouraged or dissuaded from making purchases based on the time of year and the weather conditions. But the rise of safe shopping online means that there are no longer the same psychological barriers to buying.

Analysts also found that store visits on Boxing Day were down by 7.3 per cent compared with the same period in 2015, with report spokesperson, Nick Bubb, warning against making snap judgements about the state of the market based solely on this information.

Bubb said that another of the reasons that more people were heading to the internet to buy items rather than venturing to bricks and mortar stores was that roads were becoming more congested, making a trip in the car less appealing.

Of course the volume of vehicles on the roads in the UK has been boosted as a direct result of the popularity of online shopping, with van sales reaching record levels last year as businesses rush to meet demand for home delivery in every region.