Easter provided varied results for retailers this year, although overall the industry appears to have profited.
Data released by IRI, the retail and FMCG market intelligence company, found that Easter confectionery sales were up strongly in 2015, and UK retailers had a better than expected Easter period. Sales of confectionary were up by 8.6% over the five week period which ended the Saturday before Easter Sunday.
Though sales were up to £111m in the final week before Easter, the IRI believes that supermarkets missed a golden opportunity – an opportunity valued at £5.2m.
Martin Wood, Head of Strategic Insight Retail for IRI said:
“So while sales did increase in that final week, they didn‘t increase as much as they had in the earlier pre-Easter period starting in early March. I would estimate that the missed opportunity was £5.2m”.”
Wood believes that the major retailers could have done a lot better if, “they hadn‘t sold out of eggs!”
Regardless of missed chances, it seems all sectors benefitted from the holiday sales. Fashion retailer Joules reported strong Easter sales, which increased by 27.8%. Direct sales almost doubled, increasing by a staggering 96.3%.
The performance is linked to the brand‘s decision to coincide its new releases with the Easter Holiday period, a time when many customers were spending time with their children. Sales across retail and direct channels were up 42% to £3.129m, with Breton-style tops, childrenswear and menswear‘s ‘tongue-in-cheek t shirts‘ pushing profits.
The family fashion house puts its success down to selective marketing, as it drove online traffic with the April Fools, ‘win a holiday in a luxury sandcastle‘ email campaign.
Kara Groves, Commercial and Wholesale Director at Joules comments:
“We are delighted with the response to our collections. The increased sales through both direct and retail channels reflect the excellent understanding of our consumers. We successfully capitalised on the seasonal change by releasing new and relevant products to maintain excitement and momentum throughout the period.”
Though the traditional confectionary sector could have pushed its Easter egg sales further, consumers were out in full fashion form and celebrating the latest clothing trends.