Multiples across the UK are readying for a bumper Easter bank holiday weekend as shoppers are expected to take to the high street in the warm spring weather.
Springboard predicts UK high street footfall will increase 8% year on year from Good Friday 14 April to Easter Monday 17 April. Overall footfall across high streets, shopping centres and retail parks is expected to jump 5.4% on 2016 figures.
Retailers told Drapers the late timing of Easter this year will be good for business.
“The late Easter is a help, as is the warmer weather,” said the managing director of one footwear chain, who asked not to be named. “We’ve had a strong couple of weeks in the run-up with canvas and sports leading the way. It’s better than we’ve hoped for.”
Peter Ruis, chief executive of Jigsaw agreed that trade was buoyant: “We’ve had three or four amazing weeks in the run-up to Easter. A lot of our summer jersey and rolled-up chinos are doing well, and that wasn’t the case this time last year, so a lot of it is weather driven.
“It has been the best spring in ages. Easter is always hard to predict, as a lot of our shoppers tend to go away, but trade has been very positive.”
Founder and executive chairman of Dune Group Daniel Rubin said he was feeling “upbeat”: “The sun has come out and trade is good. We’ve had a strong season on ladies, particularly our dressier styles.”
The chief executive of one value chain agreed the warmer temperatures had boosted trade: “We’ve already had some good weather, so the shopper’s mindset is already in spring. It is early days but we are happy with the like-for-likes so far.”
The managing director of one womenswear business said trade had improved following a sluggish start to the year: “From now until July is Christmas for our occasionwear offer and the warm weather gets everyone in the right mood.
“It was a tough start to the year but trade picked up in March and most retailers seem to be trying to keep full price which is a good sign. Easter is usually good when it falls later in the year as the weather is warmer. [The shopper] has to have a reason to get out there and buy, and, when the days are lighter and brighter, she does.”