Apr 15 2019
Traditionally, an April Easter is good news for retailers, as the springtime sunshine helps to boost spending in a number of categories.
Easter Retail boost as compared with a 'normal' month
March Easter: 2.4%
April Easter: 6.1%
Source: ONS Chained Volume of retail Sales Non-Seasonally Adjusted – All Retailing, Excluding Automotive, Fuel, All Businesses.
In some much-needed good news for retailers, this year begins a spate of April Easters, lasting until 2024. Warmer weather has generally helped to open wallets, as since the recession, an April Easter has provided a 6.1% average boost to normal retail trade, compared with the 2.4% rise occasioned by a March date.
Easter has been a relative newcomer as a traditional event for greeting cards, with the value of the market last estimated as £14 million in 2017, according to the Greeting Card Association, compared with a total greeting cards market of £1.7 billion. This figure is expected to remain relatively steady as, although younger people have been less likely to buy cards, retailers have responded with increased personalisation and design options, raising the price per purchase.
Naturally, Easter is a holiday for those with a sweet tooth, and Britons are expected to spend just under £340 million on Easter eggs and confectionery this year, with research by Finder suggesting that 69% of people intend to spend on Easter. Entertaining at home is expected to be the biggest consumer segment, at just under £585 million, with supermarkets expected to once again benefit. Whilst the roast remains popular, the warmer late-April weather may even tempt some consumers to celebrate outside, stimulating sales.
As has been the case for many other annual occasions, a number of consumers have been moving away from gift giving and retail purchases towards shared experiences. Approximately 40% of Easter spending is expected to be dedicated towards experiences, rather than direct retail purchases.
Staycationing has been a byword for much of the UK tourist industry for some time, with government campaigns such as #mymicrogap seeking to further capitalise on the trend. Springtime sunshine is far more attractive than more mundane March weather and, despite a savings ‘bonanza’ on international bookings, as travel companies seek to beat Brexit uncertainty, Brits are expected to spend just under £1.6 billion on domestic travel this Easter, with just over five million people travelling. Trains and automobiles (see IBISWorld reports H49.100 and G45.111) are the mode of choice, with the Financial Times finding that domestic UK flights have fallen almost 20% in the past decade, with passenger numbers down 10%.
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