SPSL said this year's early Easter and the expected poor weather, together with financially stretched consumers, was likely to mean a disappointing Easter for retailers.
SPSL retail psychologist Dr Tim Denison said: "Nobody can escape the fact that the start of 2008 has been challenging for retailers across the country. I do not relish being the harbinger of bad news. but our latest forecast does not paint a very healthy picture fro Easter retail and those retailers relying on the traditional Easter boost to their takings are likely to be rather disappointed."
He added that the only thing likely to be flying off the shelves this year were "woolies and wellies". He said: "People generally need a week or so of settled weather to decide that they really need some new clothes and we're just not seeing that at the moment. The lack of a strong, well-defined new style, whether popular or cult, is also hurting the high street."