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Retailers braced for Easter footfall boost

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

11 Apr 2017

Retail intelligence expert Springboard has given retailers some good news as it forecasts a spike in footfall over the long Easter weekend, due to the timing of national payday before Easter, mild spring weather and the continued trend for consumer spending focussed on leisure and hospitality trips.

Springboard is predicting that shopper numbers will increase by 5.4 percent year-on-year across the four days, with Easter Saturday and Easter Monday likely to be the busiest shopping days, with footfall growth of 6.1 percent and 6.9 percent respectively.

The data shows that the high street is set to benefit the most, with a rise of 8.8 percent between Good Friday and Easter Monday, compared to the same trading dates last year. However, Springboard did add that the footfall driver is less likely to be retail, rather leisure and hospitality outside of retail trading hours.

Fashion to see a drop in spend this Easter weekend

It notes that historically, 25 percent of sales in stores over the Easter weekend were made in fashion retailers, however, it expects this figure to drop to 20 percent as people spend more at food and beverage outlets, which it predicts an increase from 10 percent to 15 percent. This comes as consumers increase preferences to spend on experiences rather than retail goods.

It also predicts a rise in footfall in retail parks by 3.5 percent while shopping centres are expected to see an increase of 0.1 percent.

Springboard insights director, Diane Wehrle, said: “Last year Easter took place on March 25, a few days in advance of national payday for many shoppers. This combined with poor weather conditions, impacted footfall, which declined across retail destinations from Easter Saturday onwards.

“Mild spring weather is forecast for this Easter, which falls after the national payday. This strongly indicates that more shoppers will visit retail destinations over the weekend compared with last year.”

The forecast comes as Springboard announced UK retail footfall increased by 1.2 percent in March, year-on-year, breaking the six-month consecutive decline. March saw the UK high street footfall increased 1.7 percent and retail parks saw an uplift of 1.4 percent. Meanwhile, shopping centres saw marginal growth of 0.2 percent.

Online sales expected to continue to grow over four-day weekend

Meanwhile, e-commerce data specialists, PCA Predict forecasts that online transactions will increase by 17 percent over the four-day weekend, with the greatest increase of 20 percent forecast for Easter Monday.

Chris Harle, chief operations officer at PCA Predict added: “Traditionally, Bank Holiday Monday is one of the busiest days of the year for online shopping, and we are expecting this year to be no different. “This year, we are expecting to see online transactions via mobile reaching an estimated 49 percent over Easter weekend. This is a 10 percent increase on the same time last year as shoppers become more accustomed to shopping on their mobile devices.”

Image: courtesy of John Lewis