Sales of up to 50 and 60 per cent off dominated storefronts on Boxing Day as analysts reported that the number of shoppers was up four per cent year on year  - we went to one County Durham retail park to see what footfall was like.

Dalton Park in Murton, County Durham attempted to lure in shoppers with its Boxing Day sales on Tuesday (December 26).

The outdoor retail park is known for its outlet shopping variety as well as for holding designer brands including Radley and Calvin Klein as shoppers were pictured taking advantage of the annual sales.

The Northern Echo: Dalton Park, Murton.Dalton Park, Murton. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

According to analysts from MRI Software, the number of shoppers stepping out for sales across the UK on Boxing Day slightly increased - by four per cent - year on year.

Other findings from the study revealed that week on week, footfall was 33 per cent lower across all retail destinations - high streets, retail parks and shopping centres - as well as being 14.9 per cent down compared to yearly statistics from 2019.

Dalton Park appeared relatively quiet on Boxing Day and one shop worker, who has worked there Dalton Park for 20 years, reported that business at their independent store was "terrible".

The Northern Echo: Dalton Park, Murton.Dalton Park, Murton. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

The Northern Echo: Dalton Park, Murton.Dalton Park, Murton. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

She said: "It was busier last year in comparison to this year - I feel like I've had no luck at all today.

"Everybody is just doing everything online nowadays. For a small shop, we are usually very busy at this time of year.

"Many of our customers are the elderly, we have a very loyal base as they don't shop online, they buy things in person."

The Northern Echo: Dalton Park, Murton.Dalton Park, Murton. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)


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The worker added that whilst many associate Boxing Day sales with queuing outside, that doesn't feel like the common experience any more. 

A spokesperson for Dalton Park stated: "Dalton Park has been delighted to welcome many visitors over the duration of 2023, the outlet has seen a positive uplift in sales +11% vs 2022 during the course of the year.

"The Christmas period is always a busy one for the shopping destination and Dalton Park was happy to see the local community enjoy further reductions over the past week, with footfall increasing by 7.2% vs 2022 year and sales +33.9% vs last Boxing Day."

Jenni Matthews, marketing and insights director at MRI Software, spoke of the lingering cost-of-living crisis which she states could be to blame for footfall drops.

She said: "The footfall drop of 33 per cent week on week across all destination types is not surprising given that last week consumers were finalising their festive shopping.

"The fact that compared to 2019 levels, footfall remains 14.9 per cent down indicates the long-term impacts of the continued rise of online shopping, as many consumers may have started their sale shopping on Christmas Day evening, and with Black Friday only a few weeks ago many will have grabbed their bargains back then."

She added: "We also can’t forget that many people may be tightening their purse strings given the cost-of-living status, or may still be spending time with their families on Boxing Day and not be heading out to stores and destinations until later in the week.

"Therefore, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the week pans out for retail as we close out 2023."