Fashion retailers claim to have resisted the temptation for early Sales, despite the effects of an Indian summer on trading at retailers including Next.
But additional promotional activity is under way to tempt more shoppers into stores.
House of Fraser began its usual mid-season Sale yesterday, but held a one-day event last month to kickstart demand. A spokeswoman for Next, which held a one-day Sale last Saturday, insisted: 'That date was booked in six months ago.'
Seymour Pierce analyst Rhys Williams claimed stores are desperate to stimulate demand. 'It is weather-related,' he said.
Clarks chairman Roger Peddar insisted the retailer will not go on Sale for 'some considerable time'.