SUNNY skies helped York’s retailers enjoy a cracking Easter, with both city centre and out-of-town retailers experiencing a busy weekend.

A late Easter and warm weather have been credited by the city’s retailers for bringing out shoppers who kept the streets busy from Good Friday until Easter Bank Holiday Monday.

City-centre retailer Nicholas Brown, managing director of Browns department store, which has a shop in Davygate, said his business has enjoyed its “best Easter ever” in terms of trade over the bank holiday.

He said:“Our trade performance was stronger than expected and we have enjoyed our best ever Easter.

“Now the message has gone out that the Lendal Bridge is open, it has improved access, especially for local people.

“It also helped that Easter was later in the year.

“Spring is well and truly here and people are happy to spend.”

Speaking yesterday, when the city was “noticeably quieter” than the weekend, Adam Sinclair, director at Mulberry Hall in Stonegate, and chairman of City Team York, said: “Footfall over the Easter period has been reasonably strong. However, spend hasn’t always matched that.

“Easter coming late probably helped, as there was a pent-up demand for people to enjoy time off with the families.

“Today has been very quiet, though.”

It wasn’t just the city centre that enjoyed busy footfall.

York’s out-of-town retail parks were packed, particularly the new Vangarde development near Monks Cross.

Robert Garnish, branch manager of York’s new John Lewis store at the retail park, said: “Following a successful first weekend of trading, our sales show families in York were busy preparing for the Easter Bunny over the weekend, with our seasonal gift food and normal gift food selling extremely well.”

Kate McMullen, Head of Visit York, said: “The Easter weekend was exceptionally busy, with visitors from all over the UK flocking to York.

“Our visitor centre staff were very busy offering advice, selling tickets and tours for boat trips, sightseeing buses, as well as York Passes.”

Nationally, footfall figures over the Easter weekend showed a drop of 1.9 per cent compared to Easter 2013.