Bank holiday heatwave boosts high street footfall

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The warm weather had a hugely positive impact on footfall this Easter weekend, with shoppers flocking to British high streets to enjoy the record-breaking temperatures.

According to retail expert Springboard, footfall increased by 6.5% on Friday, 1.2% on Saturday and 8.4% by 12pm on Easter Monday. This is a clear contrast to Easter 2018, when rain and wind battered the country resulting in footfall declining by 2.4% on Good Friday, 3% on Easter Saturday and 9.8% by 12pm on Easter Monday.

On Friday and Saturday, all of the rise was due to an increase in activity in high streets (rather than in shopping centres or retail parks), where footfall rose by 19.1% on Good Friday and 8.8% on Easter Saturday. This is really positive news for high streets, as footfall declined by –9.6% and 6.9% on Easter Friday and Saturday last year due to the weather.

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However, the good weather didn’t bring good news for retail parks and shopping centres on Friday and Saturday where footfall declined on both days.

Springboard insights director, Diane Wehrle, remarks: “Consumers clearly wanted to be outside enjoying the sun rather than visiting covered malls. Even in retail parks, where shoppers gravitate to buy garden furniture and plants, footfall declined by -2.4% on Good Friday and -1.3% on Easter Saturday from the same days last year.”

On Easter Sunday, with all major stores closed, it was only high streets that were able to trade and, even without the pulling power of large retailers, the opportunity for consumers to enjoy the weather led to a rise in footfall of 16.5% from Easter Sunday 2018 when footfall dropped by 1% up to 12pm and then rose marginally by 1.9% across the day as a whole.

With continuing good weather on Easter Monday, by 12pm footfall in UK retail destinations was 8.4% higher than in 2018.  Once again, it was high streets that benefitted, seeing a rise of 16.3% versus 1.9% in retail parks and a marginal drop of 1.4% in shopping centres.

Tags : Easter Weekendfootfallhigh street

The author Stacey Hailes

Editor, Professional Jeweller

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