UK high streets report healthy uplift in shopper numbers over Easter weekend

UK high streets reported a busy Easter weekend as shoppers enjoyed the mild weather and a weaker pound attracted bargain-hunting overseas tourists.

Although overall footfall was down 5.9% on Good Friday, it increased 4.6% on Easter Saturday compared to last year, according to Springboard.

High street footfall dropped 2.0% on Good Friday to Easter Sunday, but businesses are looking to finish the Bank Holiday on a positive note, with Easter Monday footfall tracking at +3.4%, year on year.

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Springboard Insights director Diane Wehrle said: “The results to date are in part due to the shift in weather compared to last year; Good Friday was exceptionally warm and sunny – better than this year – but windy and rainy for the rest of the weekend, compared to this year’s sunny and mild weather,” Wehrle remarks.

As predicted, however, retail was not be the key driver of footfall, with more shoppers visiting the high street outside retail hours.

On Good Friday, footfall dropped -8.2% between 9am and 5pm, year on year, but post 5pm dropped just -1.3%.  On Easter Saturday, footfall increased +1.3% between 9am and 5pm and a further +18.9% post 5pm.

Wehrle explained: “This is believed to be a consequence of the worsening of consumer confidence and inflation, which has led to more conservative shopper spending on retail goods and their increased preference for spending on experiences.”

Online transactions increased 12.4% on Good Friday compared with last year, according to PCA Predict, counter balancing the footfall decline.

This reversed on Easter Saturday when online transactions declined 4.4% in line with the increase in footfall. Mobile transactions fuelled online activity, with a +9.9% rise in transactions compared with just +2.5% by tablet, whilst PC transactions declined -12.7%, year on year.

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