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Rain rain go away….

I know I’m not the only one who is desperate for this rain to stop. It feels as though it has been raining since the beginning of time.

I can’t remember the time I last had dry feet, in fact I think I could potentially be developing trench foot.

Retailers on the high street are also suffering from waterlogged consumer confidence. The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium confirmed that the relentless April showers deterred shoppers from updating their spring wardrobes with like-for-like sales down 3.3% compared with April last year.

Also according to figures from the BDO High Street Sales Tracker fashion sales in April fell 4.6% year-on-year.

Footwear sales have bared the brunt of the wintery weather, which is hardly a surprise as who will want to splash out on a new pair of wedges or flip-flops only to have to wade through the sodden streets?

Many retailers said they found further discounts and promotions failed to attract customers, which also isn’t a shock. I personally will still buy summer footwear but will wait for it to brighten up a little. It seems a little pointless to discount sandals to try and encourage people into buying them when it’s raining. Surely people will buy them whatever the price when the sun comes out, which fingers crossed it will do soon.

Of course there are some winners in this depressing weather, with shopping centres and department stores benefiting from the downpours, enticing shoppers in with their warm cosy surroundings.

The world of online retailing provides those desperate to part with their well-earned cash a much drier option. According to the BRC online sales were 9% up on a year ago. High street retailers should use this weather as a time to push their multichannel options, encouraging usual shoppers to buy online and perhaps also gaining new customers in the process.

Some retailers have said that they fear purchases not made now will be lost with shoppers instead deciding to spend their pennies on coffees, meals out, haircuts, etc instead. However I for sure won’t continue to wear my winter woollies and wellies and will most definitely treat myself to a few summer essentials once the sun eventually comes out.

Victoria Gallagher, News Reporter, Drapers

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