3/27/2008 12:17:00 PM
Poor Easter weather hurts mobile retailers
Mobile retailers have reported mixed performances during the crucial Easter break because of the poor weather.
In the mobile industry, the four-day break is traditionally known as the second biggest sales spike of the year after Christmas. However, this year retailers said the grim weather affected high street footfall. It is widely considered to have been a washout on the high street, while internet traffic soared. Shopping centre stores also enjoyed good sales as consumers headed for shelter.
Saturday was generally agreed to be the busiest day of the period. Retailers said they enjoyed good sales of the BlackBerry 8110, Nokia N95 and Sony Ericsson W890i.
Contract sales went well, due to a large number of consumers’ 18-month contracts from the Christmas before last coming to an end.
Phones 4u marketing director Jim Slater said: ‘We traded strongly over the weekend, despite reduced footfall in some areas due to the poor weather.
‘The new Samsung Belle was an immediate hit, taking a significant share of total handset volume through our stores.’
An Orange spokeswoman said: ‘Due to the poor weather we saw a customer preference for our shopping centre locations over high streets.’
O2 saw a spike in footfall which was fuelled by its offer of free JBL speakers worth £100 with the Nokia 5310 on prepay.
Retail staff across the country were in agreement that the weather played a big part in how they performed. A Vodafone staffer said: ‘We were quiet. We work in a high street store that is exposed to the elements, and we think that the weather scared customers away.’
One big city shopping centre-based T-Mobile staffer said: ‘We had a fantastic time. On the Saturday we had almost double the connections that we normally do. Mobile broadband was also selling very well.’
One Carphone Warehouse worker said: ‘We were busier than normal and we had a lot of people asking for contracts.
A JAG spokesman said: ‘We were expecting a lot of holiday custom but miserable weather conditions throughout a lot of areas kept most people off the streets.’ But the spokesman added that Good Friday was a great success, with stores achieving better than normal Friday sales, despite only doing Sunday opening hours.