Retail footfall, skills gaps, consumer behaviour: 5 interesting stats to start your week
We arm you with all the numbers you need to tackle the week ahead.
2022 records highest number of shop closures in five years
More than 17,000 shops closed in the UK in 2022, the highest figure in five years.
Around 150,000 retail jobs were lost as a result of the 17,145 shop closures last year, a 50% increase on the 2021 number. In 2022, around 47 shops closed for the last time every day, according to figures from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).
Despite 2020 being described by the CRR as the worst year for retailers for 25 years, there were over 1,000 fewer shop closures in the year the pandemic began compared to this year. In 2020, 16,045 shops closed in the UK.
The analysis from the CRR suggests many of the closures were down to businesses making strategic decisions about the future of their retail sites, rather than whole companies going bust. Only around a third of closures were due to companies going out of business, the research finds.
The number of shop closures due to businesses with 10 or more shops going under fell last year. These types of closures were 56% lower in 2022 than in 2021, but included high profile names such as Joules and Sofa Workshop.
Companies deciding to close certain branches while retaining others, which is classed as “rationalisation” by the CRR, made up around one third of the closures. Independent shops deciding to close up shop is also classed as “rationalisation” and made up over one in three of the closures.
Source: Centre for Retail Research (CRR)
Boxing Day retail footfall drops by almost a quarter
Retail footfall dropped by 23.6% on Boxing Day 2022 compared to the same date in 2021.
Despite the impact of the Omicron variant over the festive period in 2021, the figures for Boxing Day that year were higher than those recorded last week, according to retail tech company Sensormatic. This suggests the impact of train strikes, the cost of living and pre-Christmas discounting may have made the draw of in-person retail on Boxing Day less appealing.
In the run-up to Christmas, other big days in the retail calendar saw better footfall figures. So-called ‘Super Saturday’ (17 December 2022) saw shopper traffic increase 15% year on year. Meanwhile, ‘Frenzied Friday’ (23 December 2022) saw a significant uptick in shoppers, with footfall figures increasing by 51.3% compared to the year previous.
Despite the decline of almost a quarter in footfall on Boxing Day, some cities did defy the trend to increase shopper traffic. London recorded 11.1% more footfall on 26 December 2022 versus the same day in 2021, while Birmingham and Manchester saw their footfall rise by 9.5% and 7.9%, respectively.
Most marketers hiring talent experienced skills shortages in last 12 months
The vast majority (93%) of marketers hiring talent over the past 12 months experienced skills shortages, according to research from recruitment firm Hays.
However, those hiring for marketing roles have committed to solving the skills gap through upskilling both existing and new hires. Two-thirds of those who experienced a skills shortage within marketing are open to placing someone in the role without all the skills, with the intention of upskilling them. Over half (57%) of employers in the marketing industry have upskilled current employees within the organisation.
Almost two fifths (39%) of businesses are actively hiring graduates with the skills to fill gaps.
The research also found low pay was the top reason why marketers left their jobs, with 41% of professionals working in the industry stating they are dissatisfied with their salaries. Flexible working is also extremely important to marketers, the research finds. Almost three-quarters of marketers (72%) could be tempted to change jobs for a flexible approach to hybrid working,
When looking for a new role, 90% of marketers believe a company’s purpose is an important factor in the decision.
Almost one in three UK consumers will cancel 2023 holidays due to cost of living
Almost one in three (30.8%) UK consumers say they are likely to cancel their holiday plans as the cost of living crisis ramps up.
Among those from the least affluent backgrounds, over half (52.1%) say they will not be having a holiday in 2023, compared to just 13.4% among the most affluent. The vast majority (70.7%) say they will make some changes to their 2023 holiday plans, including picking a cheaper destination in the UK or abroad.
The research from Retail Economics-HyperJar’s Cost of Living Tracker also suggests consumers are putting off big spending choices in the current economic environment, with around one in three (32.1%) consumers delaying or cancelling major home-related projects in 2023.
Consumers are seeing their discretionary income significantly squeezed. The average household had around £100 less in November 2022 to spend on non-essentials. The least affluent, in particular, are seeing their incomes come under pressure, with the statistics suggesting discretionary spend shrunk 17.3% year on year for these households in November.
Meanwhile, the most affluent saw their discretionary income increase slightly by 0.6% year on year in the same period.
Where consumers do have discretionary income to spend, many are investing in energy saving items such as air fryers, electric blankets or heated clothes airers. The research found almost half (45%) of consumers are looking to buy these kinds of energy saving devices in 2023.
Source: Retail Economics-HyperJar
App ad spend down 20% between the start and end of 2022
App ad spend fell by 20% between the beginning and end of 2022, with brands pulling back as the economic slowdown hit. This compares to 2021, which saw an 8% budget rise between the start and end of the year.
The research from AppsFlyer finds app owners spent $80bn (£66.9bn) on user acquisition in 2022. This represents a 5% decrease from the year prior. Shopping apps spent $3.4bn (£2.84bn) on user acquisition in 2022.
However, ad spend on owned media, which is media belonging to companies themselves such as apps, emails and push notifications, has proved popular, in particularly on Apple devices where privacy changes mean targeting is more difficult. Owned media ad spend has risen by 45% since April.
Overall app installs grew 10% in 2022, despite a slowdown post-Covid. In 2020, for example, app installs grew 35% year on year.