Across south and east London, businesses of all types are putting on a show to celebrate the arrival of Spring and the Easter holiday, hoping to use the season help boost the fragile economy.
In Stoke Newington, a number of shops and restaurants are showing signs of spring. At Strut clothing shop on Church Street, a spray of pink flowers graces the window display, while, more unusually, at opticians Askew Eyewear, spectacles in the window nestle on beds of faux grass dotted with seasonal flowers.
For flowers of a fresher kind, one has only to look to florists Evergreen & Outrageous, and Flowers N16, both of whose storefronts feature a colourful array of blooms. Neighbouring café The Blue Legume, meanwhile, proudly displays a row of window-boxes filled with daffodils.
Also getting into the spring spirit are toy store Route 73 Kids, and nearby EarlyBird Cards. At the former, a window-display of toys and games is dotted with fluffy miniature toy chicks and floral bunting, while the latter boasts strings of Easter cards.
Even the local branch of American grocery chain Whole Foods Market is joining the seasonal fray, with its selection of organic Easter eggs advertised on a sandwich-board outside.
Chocolate is big business at this time of year, with an estimated £280 million spent on Easter eggs in the UK over just 4 days prior to the holiday last year. Besides confectioners, children are the chief beneficiaries, receiving on average 5 eggs each.
In addition to chocolate sales, retailers will be hoping for an increase in consumer spending across a range of sectors this Easter. According to Debra Jamieson, Sales and Marketing Director of shopfitting company UK POS, this year could see strong results for retailers over the Easter weekend.
She said: “Easter is much later this year, allowing consumers to claw back from Christmas spending. With a bit of luck the milder temperatures of Spring will start to kick in too, blowing away those winter blues. Taking that into consideration, consumer spending could see a vast improvement on like-for-like sales.”