Food and drink spend will drive a 3.2 per cent sales rise in the Easter retail market this year, according to new research.
But Easter gifts are due to perform more weakly than food, drink, DIY and fashion, with only a 1.4 per cent increase expected, mainly driven by Easter eggs.
“Slower performance in Easter gifts could reflect a growing apathy among the British public towards Easter as a holiday,” said Neil Saunders, Managing Director of Conlumino.
The four day Easter holiday (18- 21 April) is a vital period for retailers with shoppers traditionally buying gifts at confectioners such as Hotel Chocolat, Thorntons and Rococo Chocolates. “This is a late Easter which is always good for business and early signs are that it will be a great year,” countered Chantal Coady, founder of Rococo Chocolates.
The £2.9bn toy market is expected to enjoy an Easter sales rise as the industry hopes releases such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will boost outdoor and tech toys sales.
The report from Conlumino and Web Loyalty said the most common financial concern amongst consumers was a fear of inflation as 66.4 per cent expected a rise in household utility bills and 63.5 per cent believed food costs will rise. Furthermore, 54.9 per cent were nervous about a petrol prices rise. But consumer views on the economy have seen improvements over the last 12 months, with the financial view of the economy above personal finance circumstances since June 2013.
Consumers are feeling more confident in the economy but were less so on personal finances. Men are “significantly more optimistic” than women are and the South of England is more confident than the North, the report said.
Guy Chiswick, Managing Director of Webloyalty Northern Europe said despite the regional and gender divides the overall economy was “looking positive.”
“The fact that sentiment about personal finance is so much lower suggests that it will take much longer for consumers to feel the impact of this recovery on their everyday lives,” he said.