Snow delays start of Christmas rush
Snowy weather could be responsible for a sluggish start to the Christmas shopping season at retailers around the country. According to Footfall a retail business inforamation provider, shoppers have not performed as was expected with small weekly rises in footfall of just 2.2% and a drop of 3.7% year on year.
“The widely publicised snow predictions may have contributed to the footfall levels we have been seeing. Prospective shoppers who heeded forecasts may have postponed their shopping trips, comfortable in the knowledge that they have taken full advantage of the offers in the last few weeks and that Christmas is far enough away to fit in their shopping at a later date,” said Natasha Burton, marketing manager at FootFall.
She went on to say the fall “was not unexpected” since promotional incentives used by retailers during the first few weeks in November were successful in bringing Christmas shoppers into stores early. She said, “This has made it harder to sustain levels outside of these periods and has in turn lead to quieter interim weeks, with consumers waiting to see whether any better offers are around the corner.
Burton said, “The weekend fared particularly badly compared to 2004, with a decrease in footfall levels of 6.5%. This has confirmed that it is mid-week shopping and the attraction of late night shopping that is keeping the index as a whole at its present level.”
She concluded, “However, it’s too early to predict doom and gloom. Retailers have enticed shoppers into stores in the early Christmas run-up, and now they cannot afford to rest easy in the last crucial four shopping weeks. People have now had their last pay packet before Christmas and we expect that the retailers’ efforts to entice shoppers, with special deals and offers, will pay off in the long run, as the reality of just four weeks to Christmas starts to hit home.”