Saturday worst hit

Retailers have been hit hard by the long awaited summer sunshine over the August bank holiday weekend.

Figures from Footfall revealed that the number of visitors to UK high streets dropped 12.7 per cent over the holiday weekend against 2006.

Saturday was the worst day with visitor numbers down 18.4 per cent onlast year, while footfall on Sunday and Monday fell 14.3 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively.

Footfall spokeswoman Natasha Burton said: “The August bank holiday weekend traditionally presents a crucial business opportunity for retailers, with many consumers looking to enjoy some late summer spending over the extended three day weekend. As such, many retailers will have been looking forward to capitalising on the extra trade by increasing promotional activity and slashing prices to help boost their performance.

"It could be that this is a culmination of the effects of not only our changeable weather, but increasing interest rates, a record amount of bankruptcies and growing concerns over the state of the stock market, all of which are effectively curbing consumer spending which, in turn, has implications for the retail trade.”