Easter weekend footfall is expected to be 5.1% higher than over the same three trading days in the week before, providing retailers with a much needed boost amid the cost-of-living crisis, in contrast to Easter 2022 when footfall declined by -0.1%.
The gap from the pre-pandemic footfall level is also forecast to disappear, with a marginal rise of 0.1% from Easter 2019, according to the latest forecast from retail experts MRI Springboard.
Good Friday, on 7 April 2023, is expected to have the largest week-on-week footfall rise of 10.3% across all UK retail destinations, and up 15% on high streets alone.
MRI Springboard forecasts there will be a rise across all UK destinations of 6.2% on Saturday 8 April, and a drop in footfall of -3.4% on Easter Monday.
Over the Easter weekend as a whole, MRI Springboard is expecting the biggest rises in footfall to occur in UK high streets (+6.6%) as many towns feature Easter events designed to attract shoppers, and in UK retail parks (+5.1%) as many shoppers use the Easter weekend for home and garden improvements. A more modest rise in footfall of 2.5% from the previous week is forecast in UK shopping centres.
Signs show already that consumers are holding out for Easter as footfall over the last three weeks has been flat, with a -0.1% week-on-week drop.
Last week footfall dropped by -2.6% across all UK retail destinations from the week before, with footfall on high streets slumping by -9.1% below the 2022 level.
Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at MRI Springboard, said: “Easter 2023 is more likely to follow long-term trends in footfall over the bank holiday weekend recorded by MRI Springboard over the past 16 years. This trend typically shows increases in footfall from the week before on Good Friday and Easter Saturday with a drop on Easter Monday, reflecting the fact that many office-based employees are on leave and so not in their offices on that day.
“We are expecting that footfall will continue to plateau over this week as many consumers hold off from making shopping trips, saving days out for the week of Easter and the Easter weekend itself.
“The week-on-week increases in footfall over Easter 2023 means that footfall will be 5.4% higher than over Easter 2022 which is not a huge gain from last year but reflects the downward trend in footfall over recent weeks due to rail and other strikes.
“Whilst the annual rise is forecast to be fairly modest, the good news is that over Easter 2023 the gap from the pre-pandemic footfall level is forecast to disappear, with a marginal rise of 0.1% from Easter 2019, all of which will be driven by Easter Saturday when footfall is forecast to be 5.5% higher than on Easter Saturday 2019.”