Snowy weather threatens triumphant Easter weekend for retailers

The freezing weather conditions predicted for Easter Weekend across the UK threaten successful trading period for retailers, commerce experts have predicted.

While early forecasts did suggest that Easter Weekend would meet expectations as the most anticipated weekend for retail after Christmas, with an increase of 2.4% in footfall compared to the same trading period last year, if snow and ice were to return footfall could drop by as much as 15% from last year.

The forecast comes following Springboard’s announcement that the -0.5% decrease in UK retail footfall in February was less than a third of that recorded in January and lower that the 12 month average of -0.7%, providing some good news in the face of the trading challenges for retailers reported recently.

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Springboard Insights director, Diane Wehrle, commented: “Over the week of the first Beast from the East footfall declined by -16.6% across all retail destinations, and on the worst hit days by as much as -36%, averaging -28% over the three days.

“And unfortunately, this does not mean that online spending will rise, as experience from the first “Beast” demonstrated that traffic delays as a consequence of snow and ice led to online transactions declining by -0.7%.”

With normal weather conditions, however, Springboard is forecasting that footfall in retail destinations over the Easter weekend could be 2.4% higher than over the Easter weekend in 2017.

Werhle added: “Recent adverse weather may have resulted in consumers deferring or cancelling shopping trips, while also delaying household spending on garden products and home improvements. If the weather remains mild this Easter Weekend, consumers may reinstate cancelled trips for the Easter weekend and are likely to visit garden centres and furniture outlets to refresh homes and gardens, and to fashion stores to browse Spring ranges.”

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