King Charles’ coronation prompts royal flush of footfall but shoppers stay home on coronation day

UK retail footfall dipped across King Charles III’s coronation weekend, as shoppers stayed home to watch the royal celebrations and opted for street parties over store visits, according to the latest data from Sensormatic, the leading global retail solutions portfolio of Johnson Controls.

Footfall data from the Sensormatic IQ platform, which captures over 40billion shopper visits globally each year, showed that total UK retail footfall on the day of King Charles’ coronation (Saturday 06 May) dipped -25% w-o-w, as shoppers stay home to watch the ceremony with official TV viewing figures suggesting 20million Brits tuned into watch the Monarch crowned.

High Streets saw the biggest dip in shopper traffic, down -31.2% on the week before, while footfall to Retail Parks held up, dipping to only -12.5% w-o-w thanks to their tenant mix of out-of-town supermarkets, which allowed shoppers to pick up last minute supplies for the weekend of royal celebrations.   With a reported 67,000 street parties and Coronation Big Lunch events taking place over the bank holiday weekend, shopper counts on Sunday 07 May also fell, down -11.5% w-o-w.

Coronation prompts early ‘royal flush’ of footfall

With the Centre for Retail Research estimating the King’s coronation would deliver a £200million UK spending boost, retailers were already reporting a ‘coronation effect’ on sales in the lead up to the event.

Last week, discount grocer Lidl said it saw a +33% boost on sales of quiche in the past month while champagne sales also saw a +64% increase, while The Range said the wet weather forecast for the coronation weekend had prompted ‘gazebo mania’ with sales of the waterproof structures rising 36% in just 48 hours on Wednesday.

And, as shoppers topped up on street party fare, footfall rallied at the start of the coronation week, rising +11.6% w-o-w on Tuesday 02 May and +2.1% w-o-w on Wednesday 03 May, according to Sensormatic’s data, as consumers got supplies in early in a bid to beat the crowds.

Andy Sumpter, Sensormatic’s EMEA Retail Consultant, commented:

“Retailers experienced an early ‘royal flush’ of footfall at the beginning of King Charles’ coronation week, as shoppers stocked up on celebratory supplies.  However, come the coronation weekend itself, consumers chose street parties over shopping, with many choosing to take in the pomp and pageantry and join in the royal celebrations at home.”

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