The hot and sunny weather has had a hugely positive result for retail destinations this weekend, with an increase in footfall of +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.
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. Footfall declined by in shopping centres by -11% on Good Friday and -11.8% on Easter Saturday.
Springboard Insights director, Diane Wehrle commented: "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.
Managing Director of Evergreen Garden Care, Mark Portman commented: “I’ve spoken to some garden centre operators today and they are saying it was a record weekend for them”
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. Year on Year % change in Footfall - Easter 2019 (from Easter 2018)