Last Minute ‘Back to School’ Shopping Registers Double Spike in High Street Footfall

Back to School shopping brought a double boost to the High Street as parents snapped up last minute school essentials, data from retail intelligence firm, ShopperTrak, reveals.

With Back to School now the third largest seasonal shopping event in the UK, second only to Black Friday and Christmas, parents collectively part with almost £1 billion getting kids ready for the school term, the latest stats from Mintel suggests.

And, it seems, Back to School spending brought a boost to the High Street last week, with footfall peaking mid-week and over the weekend.  Tuesday 28 August, the day after the Bank Holiday, saw the largest rise in shopper traffic, increasing by 14.5% against the daily average.

Footfall rose again over the weekend as parents made the most of the last chance to finalise purchases. Both Saturday and Sunday saw uplifts, with Saturday up 1.44% and Sunday markedly up YOY, increasing from 2.17% to 6.52%.

Steve Richardson, UK and MEA Director at ShopperTrak, explained: “There’s little doubt Back to School is increasingly becoming a key seasonal event for retailers and is growing in popularity across category – what once was confined to stationery and apparel now sees promotional activity around supplementary products, such as tech including smartphones and electricals, which may explain its rise to the third largest seasonal event of the retail calendar.

“This year, with schools going back shortly after the August Bank Holiday, and many people taking time off in and around the long weekend, it left limited time for shoppers to pick up back to school items. This means we’ve seen a double spike in footfall, with a peak on the Tuesday during the last week of the school holidays and again in the last weekend before terms starts,” he concluded.

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