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Holiday weekend weather boost for retailers

IMPROVED weather has been credited with ­prompting a recovery in the UK retail market over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Footfall figures revealed a rocky start to the weekend, with an overall reduction of almost 10% on Saturday compared to last year.

It followed a disappointing Easter bank holiday of ­trading for retailers UK-wide.

However, sunny weather in some parts of the country saw footfall figures increase by 4.7% on Sunday, compared to 2013.

Out-of-town retail parks and shopping centres reported relatively strong weekends.

However, poor performance was reported on high streets.

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at retail data firm Springboard, which compiled the figures, said: "Hopeful for strong trading this weekend, retailers held their breath in the face of the unpredictable nature of the British summer.

"The story on Saturday and Sunday couldn't have been more different, from wet and windy to warm and sunny weather on 'Super Sunday' finally drawing shoppers out onto UK High Streets, out-of-town retail parks and shopping centres.

"While consumers have clearly been tentative about their spending over the past few months, the triple factor of the payday weekend, the late arriving sunshine and the half term have all helped to get things back on track."

Footfall at retail parks increased by 10.1% in total over the weekend, with Sunday seeing a spike of 13.7%. However, on UK high streets, footfall reduced by 19% on Saturday and 4% on Sunday compared to last year. At shopping centres, footfall was up 15% on Sunday year-on-year.

Early figures for yesterday suggested a similar picture, with improved footfall in retail parks but year-on-year declines of up to 25% on high streets.

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