The number of shoppers going into stores in the week beginning December 9 was 1.3% up on that of the same week in 2006.
The number was also up 9.4% on the previous week, beginning December 2, according to analyst SPSL.
SPSL’s Dr Tim Denison commented: “Shopper numbers are stronger than we were expecting to see at this stage of the campaign, which makes us cautiously optimistic about the full month’s outcome.
“Nevertheless, like much of this topsy-turvy year, it is difficult to call with any surety, and for this reason we are choosing not to revise our official forecast at this stage, which was for December shopper numbers to be down 2% year on year.
“What is clear, however, is that the credit crunch has not yet denuded the high street of shoppers. People just seem set on having the sort of Christmas to which they have grown accustomed.”