Retail footfall across the Easter fortnight dropped by 9.2 per cent against the holiday break last year, according to analyst SPSL.
But when compared against the same calendar weeks of 2007, shopper numbers rose by a slight 4.7 per cent. Numbers also lifted on Good Friday by 4.1 per cent on 2007.
Dr Tim Denison, retail psychologist for SPSL (pictured), said: “All the cards in the pack have fallen against retail this Easter, making it the quietest one this decade. The combination of poor weather, a very early Easter and shortened school breaks over the traditional holiday fortnight; on top of the growing underlying financial pressures on the consumer put paid to any hope of buoyant Easter trading this year. Taking the two weeks as a whole, it was even quieter than we had predicted.
“Conditions remain very tricky. Retailers are constantly monitoring their sales and footfall figures to decide whether or not to stimulate trade with short-term price-cutting. Some have already chosen to go down that route, while others have elected to run clearance campaigns to offload seasonal stock. I have little doubt that this will be the busiest period for many a year for retail marketers and merchandisers, as they respond to increasing head office pressures to build turnover.”