Sunday boost for retail industry

Warm and dry spells on Sunday boosted the number of visitors to the UK's shops after a rain-lashed start to the Bank Holiday weekend.

There was a rise in the number of people going to UK shopping centres over the weekend, compared to last year
There was a rise in the number of people going to UK shopping centres over the weekend, compared to last year

Wet weather contributed to an overall 8.3% fall in year-on-year footfall figures across high streets, retail parks and shopping centres on Saturday, on a crucial weekend for trading, retail data experts said.

The figure included a plunge of 19% for high streets as shoppers appeared to take shelter in out-of-town retail parks and shopping centres.

Better weather appeared to improve prospects for the shops on Sunday, with overall footfall for high streets, retail parks and shopping centres increasing by 4.7% compared to the year before.

Out-of-town retail parks and shopping centres saw a rise in footfall over the weekend of 10.1% and 3.7% respectively compared to the year before.

But the number of visitors to the high streets on Sunday remained low, registering a 4% fall compared to the year before.

Diane Wehrle, of Springboard, which gathers the footfall data, said: "Hopeful for strong trading this weekend, retailers held their breath in the face of the unpredictable nature of the British summer.

"The story on Saturday and Sunday couldn't have been more different, from wet and windy to warm and sunny weather on 'Super Sunday' finally drawing shoppers out onto UK high streets, out-of-town retail parks and shopping centres.

"While consumers have clearly been tentative about their spending over the past few months, the triple factor of the payday weekend, the late-arriving sunshine and the half-term have all helped to get things back on track."