Customer Behaviour

UK retailers have welcomed a trading boost from online shopping over Easter, the most anticipated weekend for UK retail after Christmas, after a stormy weekend held shoppers back from the high street.

Easter footfall figures from retail specialists Springboard show an overall decline of -1.9% for UK retail destinations as shoppers preferred to stay indoors and shop online due to Storm Katie that took hold of the UK on Saturday through to Monday.

According to figures taken from PCA Predict’s online tracker, Big Data Labs, ecommerce transactions were up 7% over Easter weekend. This was welcome compensation for the high street that saw footfall decline -4.9%, and shopping centres and retail parks that had an increase of just 2.5% and 0.4%, respectively, for Easter Weekend overall.

Good weather secured positive trading on Good Friday for UK retail, with a boost in footfall across all retail destinations, where online shopping was down -6%, as PCA Predict’s figures show.

On the other hand, as Storm Katie brewed over the weekend, footfall figures declined on the high street by -9.9% on Easter Sunday and an overall decline was experienced across UK retail destinations on Easter Monday with high streets down -11.5% on Easter Monday, shopping centres down -16.0% and retail parks down -1.12%.

In contrast, online shopping transactions increased on Saturday, Sunday and Monday by 9%, 12% and 10%, respectively.

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard said, “Easter 2016 has been an interesting trading experience for both UK retailers and e-commerce – it revealed how the two trading platforms complement each other. Good Friday’s encouraging footfall figures compared with the following days is proof the high street experience is still important for shoppers, though weather dependent. That retail parks and shopping centres showed overall growth for Easter Weekend overall was also indicative of the importance of the in store experience for shoppers, looking for a day out, inside –sheltered from the weather. The fact that large retail stores are unable to trade on Easter Sunday is another factor to take into account when looking at the overall Easter Weekend footfall figures for retail destinations.”

  Good Friday Easter Sat Easter Mon Easter Weekend Easter Sun
High Street Index 16.4% -11.8% -11.5% -4.9% -9.9%
Retail Park Index 0.6% 2.5% -1.2% 2.5% -7.7%
Shopping Centre Index 2.0% -2.7% -16.0% 0.4% 1.3%
Springboard Index 9.2% -6.4% -10.5% -1.9% -6.5%
Coastal Town 23.2% -15.7% -22.3% -7.7% -5.4%
Historic Town 15.6% -20.3% -22.9% -12.2% -16.9%
Regional City 11.7% -12.7% -15.8% -5.5% -9.1%

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