Consumer spending dropped to its lowest figure since the original economic crisis in 2009, as shoppers refused to leave their safe, dry houses.
Optimism over even having a spring or summer seems to have been the only thing to have dried out over the past month, during the wettest April in history.
A warm March had toyed with the public as the urge to go out and buy summer dresses, Ray Bans and deck chairs filled the blindly enthusiastic Britons, and the stark contrast that has been experienced ever since has clearly depressed everybody enough to give up on those luxury items altogether.
+MORE RETAIL DIGITAL
- HMV foresee 2012/13 comeback
- US retail suffers worst results since 2009
- Home Retail profits slump 60 percent
However, experts have warned against comparing March’s figures with the latest stats, due to the artificial inflation that occurred through panic buying, which is said to have ‘masked weak consumer confidence’ according to Commercial Director at Visa Europe, Steve Perry.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, which compiled the figures for Visa, explained: "Some payback from higher spending on petrol was to be expected following the panic buying in March, as was a drop in expenditure on new season clothing and items such as garden furniture due to the warm weather seen in March, which caused many people to pull forward these purchases.
"Consumer spending remains under pressure from a considerable list of headwinds, including high unemployment, widespread job insecurity, low pay growth, high inflation and high debt. As such, it would be surprising to see any pickup soon," he continued
John Lewis were one company who did manage to keep their heads above the rising water, through their continued collection of winter clothing, but on the whole, high street stores drowned.
At John Lewis, year-on-year sales of tights increased 80 percent and hot drinks went up 62 percent. The lure of comfort eating during the chill also brought about notable sales increases of food items including bird meats, Yorkshire puddings, chips and potatoes. On the whole though, sales of generic items suffered significantly.
This was, of course, apart from the sales of umbrellas, which went up an incredible 5,000 percent.