The devastating fall in the number of Britons hitting the stores will have cost retailers tens of millions of pounds in lost sales at what should be their busiest time of year reports the Sunday Telegraph.
The number of people visiting Lakeside Shopping Centre as well as Bluewater across the water fell by 33%
The figures were worse up north where the number of people shopping in Yorkshire and Humberside fell by 42pc between Monday and Thursday of last week, compared to the same week in 2009.
The figures were obtained by The Sunday Telegraph from Synovate Retail Performance, a company that counts shoppers using electronic sensors in 5,500 stores up and down the country.
Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Synovate, said that the decline will have had a huge impact on store groups’ Christmas sales figures: “Once retailers get behind with sales there is no way of catching up.”
Chains such as John Lewis and JJB Sports have already said that the snow has had an impact on sales, and observers expect many other chains to follow suit.
A raft of pre-Christmas profit warnings have not been ruled out by industry insiders.
Retailers have also experienced disruption to their supply chains because of the snow and face severe delays in getting products to their stores. Most of the UK’s large container ports, into which toys, furniture and clothing are delivered from the Far East, were closed last week.
No lorries were able to leave Tilbury Docks on the Thames between Tuesday and Friday due to the snow.