UK shoppers flee high street over August bank holiday weekend

Kasmira Jefford
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Heavy rain put a dampener on weekend spending
Heavy rain over the bank holiday weekend resulted in a washout for high streets across the country with people opting to visit shopping centres instead, new figures show.
High street stores suffered a 4.1 per cent year-on-year decline in footfall on Sunday after the wet weather and strong winds dampened shoppers' mood, according to retail analysts Springboard.
Shoppers fled for cover at shopping centres instead, with footfall soaring by 11 per cent year-on-year on Sunday and by 6.2 per cent over the weekend through to Monday.
Retail parks also traded well, with traffic up by 8.5 per cent from Saturday through to yesterday.
But despite a poor performance on Sunday, high street stores enjoyed a 3.4 per cent jump on Saturday when the weather was sunnier, with footfall down by just 0.1 per cent over the weekend.
Average footfall across shopping centres, high streets and retail parks rose by 3.4 per cent overall, Springboard said.
"There is much evidence to say that consumer confidence is at a high and it certainly shows in the strong footfall figures seen over the bank holiday weekend," Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard said.
"Favourable inflation rates, low unemployment and UK-wide pay rises are enabling shoppers to spend in comfort and they were out in force across UK shopping centres and retail parks this weekend, enjoying the benefit of the August payday falling before the long weekend and just in time ahead of the new school term."
The figures contrast with last year's bank holiday, when torrential rain dragged overall shopper numbers down by 5.4 per cent.

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