Footfall Could Plummet 15% On Easter Weekend If Snows Return 13Apr

Footfall Could Plummet 15% On Easter Weekend If Snows Return

Early forecasts suggest that the upcoming Easter weekend would meet expectations as the most anticipated weekend for retail after Christmas. There is an increase of 2.4% in footfall when compared to the same trading period last year. Footfall may take a sudden turn and retailers could suffer if snow and ice were to return. Evidence from the previous two “beasts from the east” has shown.

The forecasts comes following Springboard’s announcement that there is a decrease of 0.5% in UK retail footfall in February which was less than a third of that recorded in January which was lower than the 12 month average of -0.7%. It has provided some good news in the face of the trading challenges for retailers reported recently.

Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle the first “beast from the east” on February 25 led to 16.6% decline in footfall in all retail destinations on the week beginning.

March 1, the worst hot day saw footfall drop by as much as 36%, while the three period up to Saturday, March 3 saw average footfall drop by 28%, she added.

“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%,” Wehrle said.

“Indeed, Ocado has revealed that it led to a loss of 1% in sales due to having cancel online orders”

If there were normal weather conditions, the footfall is anticipated to increase due to a wide range of factors.

“The timing of national payday before Easter weekend in 2018 means that households are likely to have some discretionary spending budget available that will not yet have been spent or allocated,” Wehrle said.

The recent adverse weather may have resulted in consumers deferring or cancelling shopping trips. It had also delayed household spending on garden products and home improvements.

Consumers may reinstate cancelled trips for the Easter weekend and likely visit garden centres and furniture outlets to refresh their homes and gardens and to fashion stores to browse spring ranges, if the weather remains mild this Easter weekend.

She added: “The now established demand for eating out and hospitality will mean that families are likely to combine shopping trips with visits to coffee shops, restaurants and even leisure facilities this Easter weekend”.