Mild weather brought shoppers out over Easter and during March, resulting in increased retail footfall.
Bank holiday weekend footfall
For the Easter bank holiday, Springboard data shows that the number of visits to retail destinations rose by 6.5% on the Friday, 1.2% on Saturday, and 8.4% by 12pm on Easter Monday as many areas of the country basked in sunny weather.
The focus of shopping activity on Friday and Saturday was on the high street, where footfall rose by 19.1% on Good Friday and 8.8% on Easter Saturday. Shopping centres and retail parks, in contrast, saw a drop in footfall.
Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said: “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.”
The month of March saw retail footfall rise by 1.4% year-on-year as stores benefited from milder weather, while shoppers came out in force over the sunny Easter holiday.
The British Retail Consortium and Springboard reported that in the month of March, high-street footfall climbed by 2.5%, while retail park footfall rose 1.5%. Shopping centres saw a drop in footfall of 1% in March, the 24th consecutive month of decline for this retail destination.
Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “Retailers will be relieved to see footfall up from last year, though this is was heavily influenced by the weather: while shoppers in 2018 were contending with the “Beast from the East,” this March has been mild by comparison. Unfortunately, the higher footfall has not translated into higher spending.”
Dickinson added: “It is vital that all different shopping locations are fit for the future, offering the mix of retail and experience-led opportunities that generate the necessary footfall to succeed.”