Analysts predict positive Easter for retail

Katie Roberts

By Katie Roberts

April 2nd 2009 at 10:08AM
Analysts predict positive Easter for retail

The Synovate Retail Traffic Index (RTI) forecast for the Easter fortnight paints an upbeat picture for retailers.

The forecast, released today, shows retail footfall in the UK is predicted to be up by 4.1 per cent against the equivalent Easter fortnight last year (16th to 29th March).

If true, this would represent the second largest year-on-year Easter boost in five years, and would be in stark contrast to the first couple of months of the year.

The firm is putting this year’s higher expectations partly down to a later Easter period and better weather expectations.

According to Synovate retail psychologist Dr Tim Denison, 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.

Synovate is also expecting consumers to visit a greater number of stores in search of the best bargains this year and is predicting many retailers will use promotional activity to kick-start the spring season.

Denison continues: “We may see a flurry of Christmas-style one day sales and events. The sad recent loss of retailers such as Woolworth’s, MFI and Zavvi should also help boost footfall for those that are still trading.

“All in all, there are many reasons why retailers can be cautiously optimistic about their Easter trading. There may even be a small pre-budget boost from those expecting Alistair Darling’s Budget statement later in April to bring more pain for many afterwards.“