Shopper in the sunshine

According to retail expert Springboard, footfall during the period from Monday to Thursday leading up to Easter rose from the week before by an average of 15%, with a rise of 21.9% on Thursday and +27.3% in UK high streets.

Springboard stated: “This is an indication of it being the first Easter since 2019 without any social restrictions, meaning consumer activity was brought forward rather than people reserving shopping trips for the weekend. Across Easter weekend itself (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), footfall dropped marginally by 0.1% versus the previous weekend.’’

However, due to good weather, footfall across UK retail destinations rose by 5.8% on Good Friday from the week before, with a particularly huge increase in activity in coastal towns of 33.6%. High streets performed well too, with a 10% increase versus the previous Friday. Historic towns also proved attractive to consumers, with a rise in footfall of 15.8%, while in Central London footfall rose by 14.3% and by 14.5% in other large city centres around the UK. 

The uplift in footfall tailed off on Saturday with just a 0.2% rise from the week before, although high streets still attracted 2.9% more visitors than on the previous Saturday, and by Monday footfall was 8.6% lower than on the Monday before, with significant drops in activity in high streets and shopping centres of -13.5% and -15.2%.

Retail parks are traditionally the destination of choice for shoppers over Easter as the bank holiday is traditionally a peak time for carrying out home and garden improvements. However, the warm weather and the first opportunity for friends and family to meet at Easter without restrictions since 2019 meant that footfall in retail parks only rose by 3.9% on Good Friday and footfall dropped marginally by 0.6% on Saturday. On Easter Monday, however, retail parks bounced back with footfall rising by 8.8% from the week before as shoppers replenished food and groceries.

Footfall over Easter remained -13% below 2019, but only -4.3% below 2019 in retail parks.  The fact that during Easter in 2021 the UK was still in lockdown meant that footfall in UK destinations over Easter was +119.2% above Easter 2021.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said: “Two factors heavily influenced footfall activity in UK retail destinations over Easter this year; the first factor was the warm and sunny weather, and the second factor was that this the first Easter bank holiday weekend since 2019 with no Covid restrictions.

“The fact that this Easter was the first since 2019 with no restrictions was likely a factor in people making trips to retail destinations in advance of Easter, rather than on the weekend itself. Over the period from Monday to Thursday leading up to Easter footfall rose from the week before by an average of 15% with a rise of 21.9% on Thursday and 27.3% in UK high streets.

“In overall terms there was a marginal drop in footfall over the weekend from the weekend before of 0.1% over Friday, Saturday and Monday as a whole. However, the warm and sunny weather made external attractions particularly attractive to consumers; high street footfall rose by 1.1% while in shopping centres – many of which are covered – footfall was 6.1% lower than over the same three days in the previous week.”

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