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Easter footfall boost likely

Retailers should benefit from more people staying at home and more tourists visiting the UK over the Easter break according to the Synovate Retail Traffic Index.

Synovate forecast that footfall in the UK would be up by around 4.1% over the Easter holiday fortnight (April 5-18) against last year’s Easter fortnight (March 16-29). This would be the largest year-on-year boost at Easter for five years, if the forecast proves correct.

Synovate retail psychologist Dr Tim Denison said retailers should be cautiously optimistic about the Easter trading period.

He said: “Last year retailers suffered from the combined effects of the earliest Easter since 1913, some very poor weather and financially stretched consumers being constantly told that the worst was yet to come. This year, however, the dice are falling slightly more favourably for retailers and consumers alike. Easter is later; school holidays are not being artificially disjointed as they were last year and the weather is expected to be somewhat better.” 

He added: “Other factors are also in play. The weakness of the pound means that more tourists from both the euro and dollar zones will be visiting our shores to pick up some real bargains compared to prices at home. The weakness of our economy generally also means fewer people from the UK will be looking to escape and thus spend abroad.”

“We also predict that increasingly cash poor and time rich people will be visiting a greater number of stores to seek out the best bargains. Retailers will be all too conscious that nothing less than compelling promotions will do to kick-start the usual spring boost, so expect much in the way of enticing bargains and heavy Easter promotional activity. We may see a flurry of Christmas-style one day Sales and events.”



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