Shopper numbers rose over the last week as Christmas shopping reached its peak.

In the week ending 18 December shopper numbers nudged up 2.3% year-on-year according to the BRC-Springboard Retail Footfall Monitor, although it was up against soft comparatives as heavy snow hindered people heading to the high street last year. The figure is up 2.3% on last week’s footfall.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “This is confirmation that last weekend was the big shopping weekend retailers had been hoping for. The big question is whether it has translated into enough actual spending to make up for a largely disappointing year.”

Robertson believes the “exceptionally high levels” of promotions and discounts has encouraged people into stores.

He said: “Many sales are being made at the expense of margins and good trading in the next three days, particularly on Christmas Eve, will be crucial.”