Cold weather impacts UK retailMonday, 20 December 2010
Retailers have lost tens of millions of pounds after snow devastated what was supposed
to be the busiest shopping day of the year a week before Christmas.
Blizzards and icy conditions meant many shoppers abandoned their trips while some stores were forced to close. Brent Cross shopping centre in North London, one of Britain’s biggest, was forced to close on Saturday afternoon, losing trade worth up to an estimated £5m.In some supermarkets there were long queues and empty shelves as shoppers began to panic buy amid fears supplies would not reach stores in time for Christmas.
As Arctic conditions gripped Britain again this weekend, the impact of the weather has threatened the recovery in retail sales. New figures show that after UK high streets were hit by a sales downturn due to cold weather earlier this month, they saw a dramatic bounce-back in trade last week. However, the fresh bout of snow that hit the country this weekend could derail the turnaround as store groups enter their most important trading week of the year.