Shopper traffic on Black Friday could be down as much as 4% year on year, according to global retail intelligence specialist, FootFall. Following the hype around last year’s promotional event, which led to disappointing customer journeys – from major retailers’ websites crashing, long queues in stores and issues with fulfilment and deliveries after Black Friday – only the Saturday of the Black Friday weekend is predicted to grow in terms of shopper traffic (+0.5%). Black Friday, 27 November: 4% year on year Saturday, 28 November: +0.5% year on year Sunday, 29 November: -2% year on year Cyber Monday, 30 November: -0.2% year on year Steve Richardson, UK Regional Director at FootFall, commented: “While we’ve seen lots of consumer interest in the build up to Black Friday, this year marks a shift in retailers’ adoption of the promotional event. Some retailers, such as Asda, are scaling back participation entirely, while others are moving away from a single day flash sale, extending the promotion to ease pressure and spread demand out over a long period. For instance, Amazon activated deals five days early on 23 November, whereas Argos and Littlewoods plan to extend Black Friday offers over two weeks.” “These extension strategies remove the immediacy on customers to make a purchase on Black Friday itself, lessening the impulse buying behaviours associated previous years. This, coupled with the exponential growth in shopper traffic we saw in 2014, means we could see a decline in shopper traffic, down 4% on last year. What’s more, we expect to see this decline across the Black Friday weekend with footfall marginally rising by 0.5% year on year on the Saturday and then dipping down on Sunday (-2%) and Cyber Monday (-0.5%).”