The freezing temperatures the UK experienced throughout March led to a high street sales slump, according to new shopping figures from a retail group.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said that the weather last month contributed to the high streets seeing a 3.8% decline in the month. There was a smaller fall of 2.4% in the figures of shopping centre stores.
The figures from the BRC also revealed that customer traffic was down on the preceding month. Again, this is likely to be as a result of the freezing temperatures, with Fiona Moriarty of the Scottish Retail Consortium saying:
“The coldest March for 50 years was to blame for putting off many Scottish shoppers, and measures up particularly badly against the much milder weather we had during the same month in 2012.”
New financial strategies will likely be helping some shops keep going throughout the chill, with many opting for invoice factoring, for example.
The picture was not entirely bleak, though. Whilst the drop in sales will be felt in the country’s retail sector, they were better than the UK average.
As with the rest of the nation, though, businesses will be hoping for the dawning of more seasonal temperatures, with Moriarty going on to say:
“Retailers in Scotland will be hoping that the late onset of more Spring-like weather makes shopping trips and seasonal ranges more appealing to customers.”
There were signs this could be on the cards too, as the Easter bank holiday and the school break fuelled increased visits to shopping centres and DIY stores.