Christmas rush finally begins

Latest figures from Retail FootFall Index show heavily discounted prices lure shoppers to the High Street at last.
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The number of shoppers increased by almost four per cent on Saturday and climbed to nearly nine per cent on Sunday compared to figures from 2006, as retailers launched widespread sales in some of their final bids to salvage diminishing figures.

Martin Davies from Experian said consumers have left purchases to the last minute to take advantage of discounts.

“The month long waiting game between consumers and the High Street finally came to an end this weekend. Following two washout weekends, retailers finally gave in last week and launched extensive pre-Christmas sales in order to give a much-needed boost to shopper numbers,” Davies said.

“With shopper numbers surging to nearly nine per cent above 2006 levels on Sunday, it is worth remembering that much spend will have been on discounted items which is not necessarily good news for end-of-year retail profits.

“Whatever the turnout next weekend, it certainly seems that retail's traditional 'golden quarter' has given way to a much less prosperous 'silver month',” he said.

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