Footfall edged up 0.6% against last December, according to data specialist Ipsos Retail Performance, as price slashes wooed shoppers to store.
Boxing Day was 1.1% busier than last year and there was a 17.3% jump in shopper numbers on December 27, according to data firm Ipsos Retail Performance.
However, Ipsos director of retail intelligence Tim Denison said “aggressive pricing” by retailers would hit profits.
Retailers across the high street launched Sales ahead of Christmas to entice shoppers to store. City analysts predict that Marks & Spencer, which launched an unprecedented pre-Christmas Sale, could be heading for its worst profit figures for five years, according to The Mail on Sunday.
Analysts at Jefferies investment bank last week were cutting earnings forecasts for the leading retailers for the last three months of 2013 by 4%. “The competitive reaction has been pretty fierce,” the bank said, warning that clothing had been discounted “too early”.
Aggressive pricing campaigns were also prevalent in the food sector as supermarkets fought a bitter war to win Christmas spend.
However, DIY and homeware performed particularly well, which Denison said was down to the resurgence of the housing market.