Retailers are braced for an Easter spending spree with high street footfall poised to spike over the long weekend.
Shopper numbers are set to jump 5.4% year-on-year across the four days, according to data from Springboard.
High streets will benefit most, the forecast suggests, with footfall predicted to climb 8.8% between Good Friday and Easter Monday, compared to the same four days last year.
Retail parks are expected to enjoy a 4% uplift in customer numbers, but shopping centres will suffer a 1% dip, Springboard said.
Easter Saturday and Easter Monday are likely to be the busiest shopping days, Springboard said, with footfall growth of 6.1% and 6.9% respectively.
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High street locations will again be the main beneficiaries on those days, with shopper numbers expected to jump 10% on Easter Saturday and 12% on Easter Monday.
Historically, a quarter of all bricks-and-mortar sales over Easter are made in fashion retailers, but Springboard expects that to dip to 20% this year as the proportion of cash spent in food and beverage outlets continues to increase.
Mintel expects the increase in shopper numbers to drive 4.5% incline in sales of Easter-related products to £575m.
But bricks and mortar businesses will face stiff competition from online rivals, according to figures from ecommerce data specialists PCA Predict.
Online spend is set to surge 17% across the four-day weekend, with Easter Monday poised to be the most popular shopping day, when online sales are expected to rocket 25%.
Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said: “Mild spring weather is forecast for this Easter, which falls after the national payday.
“This strongly indicates that more shoppers will visit retail destinations over the weekend compared with last year.”
PCA Predict chief operating officer Chris Harle added: “Traditionally, Bank Holiday Monday is one of the busiest days of the year for online shopping and we are expecting this year to be no different.
“With good weather in sight, it is likely that mobile shoppers will continue to make purchases out in the sunshine via smartphone or tablet.
“However, with British spring time such a difficult period to predict no one can say for definite whether April showers will encourage people to stay indoors.”