The number of people expected to hit the high street this Easter Weekend has leapt up by 6% compared with last year’s figure, with shopping centres and retail parks also predicted to see growth. The data comes from retail analysts at Springboard, providing a useful insight into how the long weekend might impact sales.
But why is this happening? Firstly, Easter falls directly after payday this year which obviously has a significant effect on people heading out to spend money this weekend. With inflation being particularly low at the moment and fuel prices still declining, UK households are about £20 – 30 a month better off than they were in 2014.
Last year saw a significant fall in footfall compared to the 2013 Easter weekend, with disappointing sales in the face of low consumer confidence and a lack of interest in the Easter holiday itself. Conlumino found that last year nearly three-quarters of people felt that Easter has become too commercial while almost half didn’t consider it important.
Those attitudes aren’t likely to have changed over the course of a year, but the general improvement in household income is expected to translate into positive results for retailers. Very recent research indicates that March saw a noticeable dip in retail activity as people held off expecting Easter deals over the coming days.
Our advice for retailers over Easter? If your business involves food you may well be in luck, as people tend to be most interested in multi-buys and discounts that help them feed the family at this time of year. Be prepared for changeable weather and try to respond quickly to anything else that might influence your customers’ shopping plans.
Lastly, don’t assume that expectations of higher footfall will automatically have products flying off your shelves (or clothes rails)! Plan carefully and put in the effort over the weekend, and you should be rewarded.