Gloomy outlook fails to deter Xmas shoppers

Retailers may get a little more Christmas cheer than they bargained for, according to shopper traffic monitoring firm SPSL.

Despite threats of war and terrorist attacks, SPSL forecasts that shopper traffic will rise 'marginally' by 0.8 per cent for the 12 weeks to Christmas compared to last year.

Last month, retail traffic fell 1.2 per cent on last year, but the trend reversed in the final week.

SPSL knowledge management director Dr Tim Denison said: 'People are feeling pretty affluent and are not suffering financial pain at the moment. Things might change, but it's not having an impact now.'

Rival monitor FootFall reported that store visitor numbers leapt 9.1 per cent in the week beginning November 25.

- Wednesday's CBI retail survey showed a balance of 25 per cent of retailers expect sales this month to be ahead of last year.