Storm Katie keeps shoppers away from UK high street as footfall drops over Easter bank holiday

Kasmira Jefford
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Britons put their shopping sprees on hold this weekend as heavy wind and rain battered the UK (Source: Getty)

Retail footfall across UK high streets, retail parks and shopping centres has dropped by as much as 10.5 per cent today as Storm Katie battered the UK and put people off venturing outside.

The number of visitors to shopping centres and high streets fell by 16 per cent and 11.5 per cent respectively, according to retail analysts Springboard, which tracked footfall up until midday today.

Retail parks, which have the advantage of parking space, fared the best with footfall down by just 1.2 per cent this morning. Meanwhile coastal and historic towns were particularly badly hit, down 22.3 and 22.9 per cent respectively.

Retailers were also hit by dismal weather on Easter Saturday, with a 11.5 per cent decline across high street dragging overall retail footfall down by 6.4 per cent.

Read More: Storm Katie in pictures

Only on Friday, when the stormy weather had yet to set in, did shoppers come out in force, with footfall up by 9.2 per cent compared with Good Friday last year. High streets enjoyed the biggest jump in visitor numbers, up 16.4 per cent, while footfall at retail parks and shopping centres rose by 0.6 and 2.4 per cent respectively.

Springboard's Diane Wehrle, said: "Easter Monday is usually the best day of Easter weekend for high st retailers because people finish all their DIY at the start of the weekend and by Monday are ready to head out to the high street. However, as Storm Katie swept in, it seems shoppers have chosen to stay at home rather than venturing out into the wind and rain."

"Adversely, the sunny weather on Good Friday provoked positive increases in footfall across the board. Coastal towns did particularly well with shoppers flocking to experience the good weather by the sea, footfall increased by 23.2 per cent compared with last year,” she added.