Retailers are expected to experience a poor Easter this year as financial constraints, poor weather and the fact that it is the earliest one since 1913 combine, with footfall expected to decline by 5.2 per cent on 2007.
"Nobody can escape the fact that the start of 2008 has been challenging for retailers across the country," said SPSL's retail psychologist, Dr Tim Denison.
"I do not relish being the harbinger of bad news, but our latest forecast does not paint a very healthy picture for Easter retail and those retailers relying on the traditional Easter 'boost' to their takings are likely to be rather disappointed.
"A couple of key factors conspire against a busy fortnight (between Sunday 16th March and Saturday 29th March inclusive)," added Denison. "Firstly, this is the earliest Easter for almost a century and the earlier it falls the smaller the boost to shopper numbers. Secondly, the weather outlook of predominantly wet weather will be another key depressant, if indeed the forecast is realised."