At first glance, Springboard’s footfall figures for the Bank Holiday weekend seem frightening enough to scare away the Easter bunny – especially on the high street where footfall declined as much as 10 per cent on Good Friday.
It is as though Britons received the wrong memo – believing that shops in fact weren’t open, so best not to show up.
However, there is a danger of reading too much into these numbers when other recent sets of data for extended periods (rather than one weekend) make for more positive reading.
Retail sales rebounded in March after a slow start to the year, according to the Confederation of British Industry. Meanwhile, GfK’s closely watched index released last week said that consumer confidence reached its highest level in 13 years.
With household incomes buoyed by zero inflation and improving pay packets, everything points to more spending.
But while footfall across one wet weekend alone should not be taken as the measure of current spending patterns – it does exacerbate recent concerns about where that extra cash is being spent and how much will benefit the high street. For Easter at least, it seems that spending on leisure activities and online purchases stole the show.