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Easter sunshine brings shoppers to British high streets

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Easter sunshine brings shoppers to British high streets
FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk past the Debenhams department store on Oxford Street in London, Britain December 15, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo   -   Copyright  Simon Dawson(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – Sunny weather encouraged British shoppers onto the high street over Easter, with footfall across retail destinations rising 6.5 percent on Friday, 1.2 percent on Saturday and 8.4 percent on Monday morning, research company Springboard said.

Town and city centre stores benefited from the uptick in demand rather than shopping centres and retail parks, which saw footfall decline on Friday and Saturday, Springboard said.

“Consumers clearly wanted to be outside enjoying the sun rather than visiting covered malls,” Springboard Insights Director Diane Wehrle said.

“Even in retail parks, where shoppers gravitate to buy garden furniture and plants, footfall declined by 2.4 percent on Good Friday and 1.3 percent on Easter Saturday from the same days last year.”

Strong consumer spending in recent weeks has supported the British economy while companies cut investment ahead of Britain’s scheduled exit from the European Union in March, a deadline that was subsequently extended until October.

Retail sales volumes rose 6.7 percent in March, the biggest surge in nearly two-and-a-half-years.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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