Shoppers avoid high street over Easter weekend

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Footfall

Consumers stayed clear of high streets throughout the Easter long weekend as the poor weather drove shoppers to retail parks and shopping centres instead.

According to new data from Springboard, high street footfall dropped 9.6 per cent on Good Friday, dropping to 6.9 per cent on Saturday.

As the weather improved on Sunday, shoppers ventured outdoors, pushing up high street footfall levels by 1.9 per cent.

This compares to a five per cent footfall boost in retail parks and shopping centres over Friday and Saturday.

“Despite positive results on Easter Sunday, retail footfall up to 12pm on Easter Monday has taken a tumble,” Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said.

“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.”

“The greater number of high streets compared with retail parks and shopping centres means that the drop in footfall in high streets pulled the overall result for all UK destinations down (to -2.4 per cent on Good Friday and -3 per cent on Easter Saturday).”

“The appeal of retail parks and shopping centres is likely to be the draw of discounts offered by multiple retailers after a poor trading period this year.

“As well as this, the timing of national payday before Easter Weekend will also have helped to boost shopping trips as households were likely to have some discretionary spending budget available that had not yet have been spent or allocated.”

PCA Predict’s head of marketing Chris Boaz added: “While we expected sales growth to slow down this Easter, we’re surprised to see such a steep drop at 1.4 per cent down from last year on Good Friday.

“Despite this weekend’s bad weather, shoppers have been hitting the high street instead of shopping online.”

“Although overall sales were down, what’s particularly interesting is that traffic to mobile devices continued growing.

“This year we’ve seen an increase in traffic across mobile devices, which points to the importance for retailers to optimise their websites and customer-facing platforms not only to improve data quality on the back-end, but to improve user experience and customer satisfaction.”

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