Coldest Easter on record in the UK sends shoppers online

A wet Easter weekend prompted a bonanza for online retailers, new research by Barclays has found.

The Easter weekend, which sees consecutive bank holidays on Good Friday and Easter Monday, typically brings about a lucrative spell for retailers, with many consumers heading out to the shops on their four-day weekend, reports.

This year, however, saw cold winds, rain and snow across certain areas of Britain, which combined to make it the coldest Easter weekend on record; prompting many people to stay indoors. This didn’t stop them shopping, however, but instead sent them online instead of to the high street.

Compared to last Easter, e-retailers had to rely on their credit card processing systems for the best results, with online sales increasing by 16.5 per cent; the highest single growth rate seen so far in 2013.

Some of the best results were seen by clothing retailers, as consumers sought to spruce up their wardrobes ahead of summer. Online clothing spend increased by 16.5 per cent despite the value for in-store sales dropping by five per cent. Department stores, meanwhile, saw an increase of 18.3 per cent online; offsetting the 2.3 per cent drop witnessed in-store.

Commenting on the results, chief executive of Barclaycard Consumer Europe, Dave Chan, told “Despite the retailing sector being hit the hardest, online sales for these categories were up – and by quite a significant amount.

“This significant shift to online will have had a major impact on retailer’s forecasted in-store Easter sales. Multi-channel retailers are in a significantly stronger position to adapt to changing consumer trends – whether this be through personal choice, or a simple change in the weather.”


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