Independent retailers are hoping for a strong Easter bank holiday weekend, following a slow start to spring amid cold weather conditions.
Spring stock has been at odds with the weather in recent weeks, but some retailers are cautiously optimistic about their prospects.
“As it’s got warmer, I’ve got busier – people have been out and about a bit more,” said Hari Martin, owner of Basil & Bea women’s clothing store in Hale.
“Trade has been better as the weather has marginally improved, although shoppers can’t really face looking at summer stuff.”
Zoie Walker, owner of designer clothing store 32 The Guild in Northampton, said Easter trading should be quite strong.
“Our sales this month are really strong. Hopefully Easter coming early could actually have a positive effect,” she says.
However, she said recent adverse weather has clashed with her spring stock.
“It was initially really hard, she says. “We’re receiving summer stock, and it’s snowing. It would help if clothing seasons ran closer to the weather conditions.”
Paul Woodson, director at Encore Retail in Liverpool, agreed. “Forward ordering has meant spring stock has arrived too early. Pastel colours, short sleeve shirts and shorts don’t go off the shelves much in this weather, though there are always a few people buying ahead,” he said.
“I’ll be reviewing our forward ordering budget for next spring, so I can have more budget to buy reactively.”
Richard Murphy, owner of Quarters in Edinburgh, said his customers have been fairly cautious of late, but he said this was due to a drop in consumer confidence: “Customers are definitely interested in products and purchasing, but they’re not buoyant or excited. I think that’s more to do to do with a general shift to more conscious, less compulsive consumerism.”