Canada Markets close in 1 hr 25 mins

Boxing Day sales hit by Black Friday

Retail analysts cited the rainy weather, online shopping, and increased Black Friday spending as possible factors for the decline in footfall on Boxing Day. Photo: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Boxing Day sales failed to draw shoppers this year, as Black Friday discounts and bad weather hit the struggling British high street.

Footfall up until midday on December 26 saw the largest drop since 2010, according to figures from retail analyst Springboard. The number of people venturing out to the shops was 10.6% lower than on Boxing Day 2018.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, cited the rainy weather, online shopping, and increased Black Friday spending as possible factors for the decline.

"Boxing Day is indisputably a less important trading day than it once was," Wehrle told the BBC.

The popularity of online discounting events such as Black Friday and Singles Day means many shoppers are now spending earlier in the year, leaving less money and less demand come Boxing Day.

Retailers like Marks & Spencer and John Lewis also started their online sales on Christmas Eve, creating another reason to stay at home on Boxing Day.

READ MORE: Singles day spending to hit £1.3bn – despite most Brits never having heard of it

Shoppers are also expected to buy less due to environmental concerns, with consumers predicted to spend £200m less in post-Christmas sales this year compared to last year, according to research by Barclaycard.

Despite the decline in popularity, Boxing Day sales are still huge. A total of £3.7bn was expected to be spent in the Boxing Day sales, with four in 10 UK adults predicted to spend an average of £186 each, the research found.

Some bargain hunters braved the weather yesterday, with queues starting from as early as 4:30am outside Selfridges in Greater Manchester's Trafford Centre and branches of high street chain Next, which opened its doors at 6am.