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Shopping trips rise at start of year after December dip

The number of shopping trips in the UK rose 0.8% year-on-year in January, but fell 26% in December, according to the latest figures from the Retail Traffic Index from analysts SPSL.

But shopper numbers in January were only up in Wales, the South West and the South East, with figures declining northwards across the UK. Scotland and Northern Ireland were the worst hit, as figures fell 3.3% year-on-year.

SPSL added that it was the first week of the year that was responsible for the uplift. Dr Tim Denison from SPSL said: "The surge of shoppers in the southern part of the UK during the first full week of the Sales meant that the figures were 4.9% higher nationally than in 2007."

He added: "However, this surge was muted or non-existent the further north we looked. After the initial bargain-mania crush of the first week, shopper numbers quickly subsided even in the south. In fact, they fell away by 16.3% week-on-week the following week and continued decreasing nationally for the rest of the month."

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