The latest figures from Ipsos show that non-essential retailers are set to miss out on a potential +10% boost to footfall over the Easter weekend.
The predictions are not as stark as the missed footfall last Easter, when Ipsos’ retail analysts projected footfall would have risen by +22% due to the warm weather and timing of the bank holiday in April, had the country not been in lockdown.
Two decades' worth of figures from Ipsos’ bellwether Retail Traffic Index (RTI) show that a late Easter, combined with warm weather, brings the highest injection to the number of shoppers onto the high streets.
Dr Tim Denison, head of retail analytics and insights at Ipsos, explains: “Another bank holiday weekend is fast approaching, and another salesfest opportunity in non-essential retail stores will be lost. Easter is a hallmark time for people to start their spring cleaning and inevitably this usually involves a trip or two to the shops.
“The prime time for Easter, from a retailer’s standpoint, is over weeks 14 and 15, as it was last year. Then we should have seen non-food store footfall up by almost a quarter (+22%) on the same fortnight in years when Easter falls outside of this period, had non-essential stores not been in lockdown. This year the festivity is a week earlier and we project that the boost to normal footfall in non-food stores would have been about half that amount (+9.5%).”
However, Tim adds that retailers have good cause reasons for future optimism, with the reopening of all stores and May Bank Holiday on the horizon.
He says: “The thought of the May Bank Holiday falling in just four weeks should help make amends and put a spring back in the shopkeeper’s and shopper’s step. With the re-opening of all stores imminent and vaccination levels ever rising, retailers can hope that the release of pent-up demand will deliver stronger-than-ever sales over the course of the next bank holiday weekend.”