Figures for the first week of Christmas retail have been released, and have shown that footfall only increased by 0.01 per cent year-on-year.
However, looking at week-on-week figures, the number of shoppers increased by 11.2 per cent, signalling that many people had begun their Christmas shopping.
SPSL's retail psychologist, Dr Tim Denison, commented; "Once again these figures are slightly better than we had expected. Admittedly the week came at exactly the right time for most people's salaries to hit their bank accounts but there does seem to be a growing attitude amongst consumers that all the negative pressures can be ignored until the New Year, when they may be forced to cut their shopping trips.
"I suggest that one factor that may still come into play before Christmas, though, is if people start hitting their credit buffers, in the wake of financial providers tightening their reins. For some, Christmas shopping ambitions may be taken out of their hands this year."