Miserable British weather stunts Easter high street retail

The traditional British weather drove consumers away from the high street shops this Easter weekend

Miserable British weather stunts Easter high street retail

The ‘Beast from the East’ caused a lot of brake lights across Blighty’s streets and in her industries in February. And now the expression ‘when it rains it pours’ fell true for retail over the Easter weekend, with eggy weather floating shoppers away from hungry high street stores.

Despite predictions for the holiday being the most successful retail weekend since Christmas, the rain saw the number of UK high streets shoppers fall by 9.6% on Good Friday and 6.9% on Saturday compared to last year, according to Springboard, the research group. Easter Sunday also arose to a bad start with a 12% decline in footfall, however a parting in the clouds by lunchtime encouraged shoppers to end the day 1.9% higher than last year. Encouragingly retail parks and shopping centres Good Friday and Easter Sunday actually saw a 5% increase from last year. Regardless, the high street slump outnumbering parks and shopping centres closed the weekend with lower numbers than 2017 across the industry.

Commenting on the findings Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, said: “Despite poor weather, shoppers have definitely been visiting retail destinations this Easter Weekend. Footfall in retail parks and shopping centres increased by 5% compared to Good Friday and Easter Saturday last year, but the persistent rain has definitely impacted high streets.”

“This decline was undoubtedly caused by rain that hit much of the UK in the
morning and also likely to be due to the fact that shoppers had already made their trips earlier in the weekend.”

Given that Easter footfall has consistently declined in the previous two years due to things like increased online retail and technological advances, blaming the traditional grey British weather may merely be a scapegoat for the Easter holiday lessening in importance to consumers. Not so egg-cellent.

Angus Shaw
Angus Shaw

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