Easter Bank Holiday Washout

UK retailers have welcomed a trading boost from online shoppers over the Easter weekend, after Storm Katie prevented people from venturing out on the high street.

The long weekend usually heralds the first big trading days since Christmas for the country’s retailers. But retail specialist Springboard, which tracks shopper numbers, said that after a boost from the sunny conditions on Good Friday the number of visits to shopping centres and high streets around the country slumped 6% and 10.5% on Saturday and Monday compared with last Easter. According to its shopping centre index, footfall in shopping centres was down 16% on Monday morning.

Meanwhile, online, ecommerce transactions were up by 7% across the Easter weekend according to PCA Predict’s real-time tracker, Big Data Labs, indicating that shoppers chose to head online than brave the storm.

Good weather at the start of the weekend secured positive trading on Good Friday for UK retail, with a boost in footfall across all retail destinations. Comparatively online shopping was down 6% revealing how the two trading platforms complement each other. Good Friday’s encouraging footfall figures compared with the following days is proof the high street experience is still important for shoppers, though weather dependent.

Typically, one of the quietest days of the year for online shopping, Easter Sunday transactions increased by a staggering 12% compared to last year.

Despite this increase in ecommerce, the figures were still down by 20% compared to an average weekend in 2016 suggesting that people decided to spend their bank holiday with their family or doing DIY rather than shopping for the latest trends.

In the wake of Storm Katie and with Easter now behind us, retailers are hopeful of increased spending during the school holidays.

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