This Christmas played host to a huge polarisation in consumer shopping trends across the UK retail sector, with industry giants reporting an early bird sale surge during the beginning of November and a flood of last minute bargain hunters during the Christmas week. Coventry’s premier shopping destination, Lower Precinct followed suit, reporting footfall figures that mirrored that of the nationwide retail trends.
With footfall in early November up 3.5% on last year’s figures, Lower Precinct echoed the rest of the UK with early bird shoppers flocking to the centre before the Black Friday weekend. However, this year, Black Friday weekend saw shoppers gravitate away from the stores and onto the web resulting in distorted sales figures and a slump in early December footfall across the UK.
Corresponding with industry forecasts, many consumers chose to postpone non-essential buying in anticipation of the heavily discounted products in the immediate run up to Christmas. During the Christmas week, Lower Precinct saw a 1% increase in centre footfall, with Coventry shoppers conforming to industry predictions, preferring to delay their Christmas shopping in order to make a last-minute saving.
In anticipation of the industry trend predictions, Coventry’s Lower Precinct also played host to a packed schedule of Christmas events, driving consumers into the centre during December. The centre also welcomed a trio of new stores in the run up to Christmas which included national fashion footwear retailer Schuh, unique stationary and gift store, Tiger, and specialist card makers Pick A Card.
Centre Manager, Nicola Cormell, comments:
“It was another busy Christmas for us here at Lower Precinct; our year-on-year footfall was up by 2.5% on last year continuing to position Lower Precinct among Coventry’s top ‘one stop’ shopping centre’s. This rounded off 2015 nicely, and now we are focusing on making sure that our 2016 is as successful as it can be!”
With planned on-site development and an exciting event schedule, 2016 is already shaping up to be a success for Lower Precinct. The centre has decided to condense its events schedule, concentrating on four event extravaganzas, which will include a Chinese New Year Spectacular on Saturday 6 February, a spring/summer fashion show, student shopping event and Christmas programme.