The City had been fearful that the festive period was a bloodbath for retailers after Next warned of bleak times ahead and cut profits forecasts. Footfall across the sector had suffered in the New Year's sales following heavy discounting in the run up to Christmas.
“The British Retail Consortium retail sales monitor out overnight on Monday/Tuesday may well show relatively muted retail sales in December although this would follow a strong overall performance in November and October,” said Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight.
He added: “It also appears that sales on the high street in December suffered to some extent from strong online sales.”
However, yesterday Intu, the owner of many of the UK’s prime regional shopping centres, noted a 1.1 per cent year-on-year increase in footfall from 20 November to 2 January 2017. Footfall peaked at 3.1 per up cent year-on-year during the first week of sales post-Christmas.