Easter is a time of wonder. Children everywhere wonder what the connection is between Jesus, crucifixion, resurrection, a mysterious rabbit, a chicken and chocolate eggs, retailers are wondering who is going to reap the predicted boom in sales the long weekend is likely to yield. Who is going to get the Easter sugar rush and who are going to be the hot cross bunnies?
Retail analyst Springboard [IRDX VSPR] believes that there is going to be an 8.8% boost to footfall this weekend, driven by Easter being post-payday and the weather being nice. But others – notably BRC-KPMG, PCA Predict, VoucherCodes.co.uk and Fujitsu – believe that the shopping bonanza that now accompanies any public holiday is going to be an online affair: not least driven by mobile.
And they have good reason to see this Easter as yet another digital nail in the high street’s coffin. Even if the weather is good, goes the argument, shoppers are going to turn to mobile to do the buying while they enjoy the sun, not head to the shops to womble about when they could be going pink or having a barbeque.
Another reason to fear for the high street is that mobile is not just a technology preferred by young people when it comes to shopping. According toDigitalBridge, which commissioned “The Imagination Gap: Retail’s £1bn problem” report, baby boomers are just as eager to see next generation technology such as mixed reality and artificial intelligence being adopted by retailers as their millennial counterparts.