Analyst Footfall recorded increases in shoppers on Good Friday and Easter Monday of 11 per cent and 24 per cent respectively, compared with Easter last year. Numbers on the Saturday dipped to a decline of 1.6 per cent on the comparable day last year, caused mainly by the England Football World Cup qualifying match with Northern Ireland. A spokeswoman for the company noted that shoppers came back with a vengeance the following shopping day, enticed by Easter and Spring Sales.
Analyst SPSL also recorded year-on-year gains, with shopper numbers on Good Friday and Bank Holiday Monday up by 2.3 per cent and 4.8 per cent. However, SPSL director of knowledge management Tim Denison was downbeat about the results. He said: 'Reasonable weather and great value promotions helped rescue trading performances for some retailers over the bank holiday weekend, though the picture for the full fortnight looks as if it will be down on last year. It's more a matter of salvage than salvation.'
Both analysts agreed that it was the leisure end of the sector that benefited most from the holiday, rather than DIY retailers, the traditional benefactors of Easter trading.
Footfall marketing manager Natasha Burton said: 'Easters occurring late in the calendar seem to be dominated by DIY and the garden. This year however, leisure shopping and high street Sales have been top in the consumers' minds.'