Arctic conditions in Britain are set to hit economic growth.
About a third of all festive shopping in the UK is done in the two weeks before Christmas, according to market research group GfK NOP and it believes the snowy weather could plunge retailers into the red.
Shops reported as many as 25 percent fewer customers than last year on the final weekend before Christmas, which is normally one of the busiest of the year.
One shop where they were not exactly filling the aisles on Monday was at Buckingham Palace where the official range of Royal Wedding China to mark Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding has just gone on sale.
Nuala McGourty of Royal Collection Shops said: “We wanted a design that was contemporary in nature, was romantic and what we felt was the modern nature of the couple.”
The plates, mugs and pillboxes are also available via the internet but good luck if you were thinking of sending one as a Christmas present.
The weather disruptions have hit delivery services hard.
Some online retailers are refusing to take new orders as there are so many parcels that have not yet been delivered just days before the holiday.
Fil Adam Mercer, the boss of Parcel2Go, explained it’s a massive problem: “The backlog just caused chaos. There was over four million parcels held up in some form or another.”
It means a dilemma for online customers like Jill Tower, waiting to see if their presents arrive in time for Christmas: “I don’t know whether I have to run out last minute and rebuy them. Nobody is able to tell me anything.”
In reaction to the big freeze European investors gave the cold shoulder to shares in major retailers and parcel delivery firms.