• The Archbishop of Canterbury’s plan to standardise the date of Easter could bring shoppers certainty when planning DIY projects
  • Retailers divided over when Easter should fall
  • Fixing a date for Easter will also prevent headaches over like-for-like financial reporting

Retailers have welcomed attempts to fix the date of Easter because it would help shoppers in their planning, particularly for DIY projects.

Fixing the date of the Easter holiday, which is a peak trading period for home and DIY retailers, would prevent the reporting issues faced by many retailers trying to compare like-for-like sales.

The timing of Easter is determined at present by the lunar cycle and can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25.

Verdict Retail consultant Greg Bromley said: “It will bring consumers certainty when planning DIY tasks. They’ll plan it over a certain weekend. That date certainty will also benefit retailers in terms of reporting, forecasts and stock planning.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said last weekend that he is working with other churches to agree a fixed date for the religious holiday. He hopes to bring about the change in the next five to 10 years.

Retailers are divided as to when would be best for the holiday to fall. Carpetright chief executive Wilf Walsh said: “We would love Easter to fall in late March. Warmer weather brings the risk of people spending time outside rather than doing DIY indoors.”

However, an executive at one etailer specialising in outdoor products told Retail Week its preference would be late April. “A warm late April is perfect for people to start getting their garden ready for summer,” he said.

Bromley said fashion retailers may also benefit from a later Easter. He said new spring/summer stock starts selling when temperatures rise so a bank holiday footfall boost in late April could help provide a filip to clothing chains.