Retail footfall in the UK rose by 3.8% in March compared to February, but was 6% down on March 2012 according to figures released by Ipsos Retail Performance.
The Retail Traffic Index for March shows that snowfalls and cold weather led to 12.8% fewer shopping trips being made in the fortnight beginning 10 March.
However, during the week commencing 24 March, the first week of Easter, there were some mixed figures. In South West England and Wales retail footfall was 7.1% up on the same week of 2012 while in South East England and London there was an increase of 2.6%. In other parts of the UK, however, footfall was down leading to a 10.2% overall decline in UK footfall compared to the first week of Easter in 2012.
“Weather conditions could not have been more different to last year, when March was the sunniest on record since 1929 and the warmest since 1997,” explains Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance. “This clearly had a dramatic impact on shopper footfall in March just gone, with many deciding to remain at home. DIY enthusiasts and gardeners, for example, who would normally be out in force at this time of the year, remained deep in hibernation.”