Blog: Rain stops play

Catherine Sleep | 3 January 2006

What very fickle animals we shoppers are…. Retailers and research groups have reported a slump in post-Christmas sales as bad weather hit Britain. We love saving money, but these days we just aren’t prepared to get a little bit wet to bag a bargain.

Boxing Day saw shopper numbers up 17% on last year, but overall figures for the week to 1 January slumped by nearly 8%, retail research group SPSL reported. I’d like to think that people just realised, finally, that the shops are filled with things they don’t need to fill their lives and homes with. I made a short foray into town on the 27th and really, there was an awful lot of tat to be had, even if it was available at a slightly cheaper price than a few days earlier.

Sadly I doubt that had anything to do with falling footfall, which was instead attributed partly to retailers cutting prices ahead of the holiday, and to the full week of trading prior to Christmas, which fell on a Sunday this time. But mainly it was the weather that copped the blame.

Surely the Internet has to take some credit for keeping the shops quiet too. How much more civilised it is to browse your favourite websites for good deals from the comfort of your living room than to get your elbows out in an overheated mall full of soggy, frazzled bargain hunters.

But then, as editor of a web-based magazine, I guess I would say that.

SPSL news page


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