Retailers experienced a drop of 9.2 per cent in footfall during the fortnight surrounding Easter with analysts blaming the poor weather and continuing financial demands.
The fall was much worse than analyst had predicted, with previous predictions putting the fall at 5.2 per cent. Footfall was also down on 2007 according to figures from the Retail Traffic Index from SPSL.
"All the cards in the pack have fallen against retail this Easter, making it the quietest one this decade," said SPSL retail psychologist Dr Tim Denison.
"The combination of poor weather, a very early Easter and shortened school breaks over the traditional holiday fortnight; on top of the growing underlying financial pressures on the consumer; put paid to any hope of buoyant Easter trading this year.
"Taking the two weeks as a whole, it was even quieter than we had predicted."