Halloween hasn’t been too frightful for retailers, as UK footfall leapt by 18.3% in the last week of October. This made it the busiest shopping week of the year, with 3.5% more shoppers than in the previous busiest week, at the end of July.
Average weekly footfall for the month as a whole was up by 4.5% compared to September, although it was 2% lower against the same period in 2014. Despite the busy end to the month, footfall during the first three weeks of October was sluggish.
Dr Tim Denison, Director of Retail Intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance, which compiled the figures, said: “October is usually a pretty placid month, as consumers start putting aside some spare cash for Christmas rather than spending it freely in the shops. Store footfall levels were definitely flat and muted over the first three weeks of the month, but the final one blew the tumbleweed away.”
Scotland, with a 4.4% rise compared to September, proved distinctly average when the national figures were broken down regionally. Shops in the north of England saw the sharpest climb at 7.8%, while the south-east and London lagged behind at 2.8%.
Despite the month-on-month improvement, overall footfall figures in October were down compared to the same period last year.
According to Denison, Q4 will prove crucial to retailers: “We’re now into the business end of the year – the so-called Golden Quarter – which ultimately defines the success of any retail year.”