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Latest Issue: Nov/Dec 2018

A quarter of SME retailers expect to see an increase in sales over Easter weekend

A quarter (25 per cent) of SME retailers expect to see an increase in sales activity over the Easter bank holiday weekend, according to a study commissioned by Royal Mail. This optimistic outlook comes as Easter increasingly establishes itself as one of the major shopping calendar moments for both online and bricks-and-mortar retailers.

DIY items, electronics and alcohol are the products SME retailers expect to sell over the Easter bank holiday weekend. SMEs anticipate sales in these categories as Brits engage in the traditional Easter Bank Holiday activities of home improvement and relaxation.

The study found that almost seven in ten (69 per cent) SME retailers feel they are fully prepared for the Easter bank holiday weekend opportunity in terms of ensuring they have adequate stock and shipping facilities in place. Of these, 5 per cent have hired additional staff to help manage order processing and fulfilment.

The expected additional demand means that many small business owners will be unable to put their feet up over the Easter break. Almost six in ten (58 per cent) retail decision makers said that they expected to be working at least one of the days over the bank holiday weekend compared to a third (36 per cent) of all SMEs. In fact, almost one-fifth (18 per cent) of SME retailers expect to be working all four days of the bank holiday weekend to ensure that orders are fulfilled and delivered on time, compared to 12 per cent of SME decision makers in general.

A spokesperson for Royal Mail Parcels said “Although predominantly a time for celebration and family gatherings, Easter bank holiday weekend is now a key moment in the evolving ecommerce calendar. At Royal Mail, we support businesses across the UK and internationally. It’s encouraging to see that SMEs are fully geared up for the opportunities the upcoming long weekend presents.”