The sharp rise will bring welcome relief to retailers that have suffered from shoppers leaving their Christmas shopping later this year.
Although Monday’s figures, released by Experian, were in comparison with Christmas Eve last year – traditionally a quieter day for retailers – it is a marked improvement on recent footfall figures.
Last weekend footfall was down 8.7 per cent on last year’s figure, despite intense discounting from retailers such as Debenhams and House of Fraser.
There are fears, however, that the late surge is not enough to save many retailers’ Christmas. Experian senior analyst Anita Manan said: “This strong performance follows seven weeks of negative performance, so this final rally by consumers will be welcome relief for most retailers, but not sufficient to save the season for some.”