Is the increase a sign of greater consumer confidence or just a calendar blip?
Shopper traffic rose steadily in the week leading up to Valentine's Day, creating the biggest week-on-week increase in footfall since mid-December. According to the latest figures from FootFall, shopper volumes increased in the week ending February 13 by 3.8 per cent, compared with the week before. This signalled a return of shoppers to the high street after the post-January Sales lull. The year on year increase was 4.2 per cent.

A spokesman for FootFall said: 'As Valentine's Day becomes more commercialised, retailers are cashing in on the open purses of romantics across the country. The national week-on-week increase in shopper numbers indicates the increasing intention of gift buying, as the hurried feet of Valentine's shoppers visit stores in the final days.'