Rain keeps shoppers indoors
A report into the shopping habits of the North and Yorkshire region has revealed that heavy rain and poor weather has affected the usually busy town centres and high streets. Retail specialist Springboard has revealed that the number of shoppers over the February to April period are down compared to last year, and it is the worst decline since November 2009. Although the region has some of the lowest declines compared to the rest of the UK, high streets have saw an overall decline in popularity up and down the country. The number of shoppers has fallen 6.4 per cent between the three month period.
Although March had promised early seasonal Spring weather with weeks of warm temperatures, it was followed by a particularly cold and wet April. The weather for the same period in the previous year was much better and Easter was later, meaning their was more opportunity for consumers to enjoy seasonal shopping. As indoor shopping centres marked a 0.4 per cent rise in numbers from the previous year, the effect of the rain on the high street for this period is evident.
It is a troubling set of statistics for shop owners who are already struggling with low footfall. Shop vacancy rates for the North and Yorkshire region have recorded all-time high numbers at 13.5 per cent, compared to the UK average of 11.1 per cent. The public have long been feeling the effects of the poor economic climate, and disposable income and consumer confidence is lacking.
It is anticipated that the long June bank holiday weekend may have briefly revitalised shopper confidence as the UK celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It could provide a sigh of relief for many struggling shop owners and retail stores.
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