We all remember the Beast of the East and its much-discussed effect on highstreet sales; the cold snap most probably kept British shoppers at bay during early 2018. But can the same be said for hot spells? The current sunshine which has caught us all by surprise may be good news for British businesses if last year’s results are anything to go by.
Sales rose by 0.6% during the particularly sunny June of 2017 according to the Office of National Statistics, besting a 0.4% increase forecast by economists. But such a rise was due to spending on clothing; sales in areas such as food and fuel saw a drop during the past summer.
April this year saw similar footfall on the highstreet, with data from analytics firm Springboard claiming a huge leap in seasonal-related products such as shorts, sun lotion and BBQ-staples of the burger and rosé sort. But such good news wont help compensate for a difficult winter beset by the Beast. A survey of Visa card users indicated that consumer spending slid 2% in March, while the number of shoppers is down by 6% compared with March 2017.
The impact of weather on business though cannot be underestimated. Anyone in doubt should just take one look at highstreet performance during the Easter bank holiday weekend, when showers and clouds saw footfall drop 2.4% on Good Friday and 3% lower on the Easter Saturday. Proof positive even a public holiday can’t beat the seasonal blues.