Footfall increased by 1.2% on UK high streets over the Easter weekend to date (Good Friday to Easter Sunday).
The positive results are welcomed by the retail industry following the first uplift in footfall in March [+1.3%] since August last year. Despite overall UK footfall being down -2.0% for Good Friday to Easter Sunday, retailers are looking to finish the Bank Holiday on a positive note with Easter Monday footfall tracking at +3.4%, year on year [at 12pm].
Springboard Insights director, Diane Wehrle says Easter has been a tale of two halves; footfall declined on Good Friday by -5.9%, but increased +4.6% on Easter Saturday compared to last year. Whilst Easter Sunday is not a retail trading day, footfall on high streets, many of which stage events over Easter, increased +1.8% on Easter Sunday last year.
“The results to date are in part due to the shift in weather compared to last year; Good Friday was exceptionally warm and sunny – better than this year – but windy and rainy for the rest of the weekend, compared to this year’s sunny and mild weather,” Wehrle remarks.
The trend for increased footfall outside of retail hours continues, indicating food and beverage outlets are a key driver of shopper footfall. On Good Friday, footfall dropped -8.2% between 9am and 5pm, year on year, but post 5pm dropped just -1.3%. On Easter Saturday, footfall increased +1.3% between 9am and 5pm and a further +18.9% post 5pm.
Wehrle explains: “This is believed to be a consequence of the worsening of consumer confidence and inflation, which has led to more conservative shopper spending on retail goods and their increased preference for spending on experiences.”
This is also believed to be the driver of UK high streets success. UK high streets outperformed retail parks and shopping centres for the weekend to date, which saw decreases of -2.3% and -8.0%, respectively.
Online transactions increased 12.4% on Good Friday compared with last year, according to PCA Predict, counter balancing the footfall decline. This reversed on Easter Saturday when online transactions declined -4.4% in line with the increase in footfall. Mobile transactions fuelled online activity, with a +9.9% rise in transactions compared with just +2.5% by tablet, whilst PC transactions declined -12.7%, year on year.