Retailers look forward to Valentine's Day to see off January blues
Customer traffic continued to rise last week, albeit at a marginal rate. According to figures from Footfall, it rose 0.1 per cent compared with the previous week. Traffic levels were up 3.4 per cent year on year. However, the figure for shoppers who visited department stores fell 3.3 per cent compared with the previous week, and dropped 2.6 per cent year on year.

This is the fourth consecutive week in a row that department store traffic has fallen below volumes for the equivalent periods in 2003. A Footfall spokeswoman said: 'As we enter February, shopper numbers remain flat, with shoppers resting after January Sales before the anticipated build towards the peak of half-term and Valentine's Day. As Valentine's Day draws closer, retailers that have the ability to differentiate themselves with more focussed romantic product offerings will be more able to turn browsers into spenders.'