Footfall analyst predicts mixed fortunes for retailers at weekend

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Footfall forecast: a Royal Wedding dip but bounce back on 30 April

Footfall forecast: a Royal Wedding dip but bounce back on 30 April

Consumer behaviour analyst Experian FootFall expects the Bank Holiday bonanza – incorporating the Easter Weekend, Royal Wedding and May Day – will lead to mixed performances in shopper footfall numbers.

According to Experian FootFall, while the Easter Bank Holiday has traditionally shown a drop in footfall of about -25% year-on-year, when compared to a normal Monday, the number of shoppers are anticipated to rise by 2% for the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before the Royal Wedding.

This increase in activity is attributed to:

1. Shoppers ‘stocking up’ before the Royal wedding. Street parties are expected to boost food and alcohol sales. Some of this spending may be driven towards edge-of-town centre food stores and not necessarily in-town shopping centres

2. Opportunistic holidays. Workers quickly calculated by booking the three days of holiday between Easter and the Royal Wedding, they could create an 11-day break for themselves. As a result, more people than usual will be shopping during this period, despite many children having returned to school for three days

As the nation celebrates the Royal Wedding on Friday, it is anticipated shoppers will steer clear of stores, seeing this as a gift day for socialising. While there are few reference points for similar holidays, Experian FootFall predicts the day will follow a similar pattern to the preceding Good Friday, with a similar dip in shopper activity. As such, expectations are that footfall for 29 April will decline by -16%, when compared to last year.

Retailers will be happy to hear, however, it is likely 30 April will see some bounce back recovery of lost footfall from the Wedding Day dip, before a return to more regular patterns of performance.

Neil Bennett, product manager at FootFall, said: “Current progressive footfall for this year is down by around -1.2%, year-on-year in the UK, but buoyed by a strong January. February and March were more challenging, with run-rate performance closer to -2.0%.

“The addition of an extra holiday day for the Royal Wedding, the timing of Easter and for some, better weather will mean more leisure time for people, it won’t necessarily mean they spend this time shopping.”

Key facts

Based on current retail trends, Experian FootFall expects the following levels of footfall in shops over the following week; figures are estimates of performance compared to last year:

  1. Easter Bank Holiday Monday: -25%
  1. 26 April,  27 April and 28 April: +2%
  1. Royal Wedding Day: -16%