Although last weekend should have been the busiest time of the year, blizzards kept shoppers at home and retailers mourning their poor sales despite tempting offers and discounts on household goods, gifts, and clothes.
The West End of London was still crowded even and centres were said to still said to have solid trading numbers, but experts believe that the poor weather likely reduced the amount of sales that could have been made as retailers attempted to match last Christmas’s sales.
HIS Global Insight chief economist for the UK, Howard Archer, stated that the sudden influx of ice and snow was a large blow for retailers that were hoping it would not hit until after the final Christmas shopping weekend. He added that many supply chains faced a hit as well given the fact that their Christmas shipments were stuck at the ports.
The West End Company which represents over 600 retailers in the Regent Street, Bond Street, and Oxford Street are in London, stated that before the blizzard hit they were expecting to see about £130m worth of sales and 1.2m shoppers throughout their stores.
Spokeswoman Sarah Cordey for the British Retail Consortium commented that the weekend was the last shopping opportunity for many people and those who still need them probably were still determined enough to get out to the stores.
The last few weeks before the holidays make up as much as 60% of the yearly turnover for many retailers but as consumers continue refine their budgets in anticipation of government spending cuts stores did not expect to see as a great influx of sales with a BRC survey showing that only 35% of all retailers expected their sales to be higher than last year’s holiday sales.