Fewer UK shoppers over weekend: survey

Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:22am EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - UK shopper numbers fell 8.7 percent over the weekend compared with the corresponding days last year, signaling consumers are still holding back on spending with just three shopping days left to Christmas, a survey showed on Monday.

Market researcher Experian said the figures represented a slight improvement on last weekend's performance and of the following five days which had been a negative trend of between minus 10 percent and minus 15 percent.

"But the overall week's figures will probably be the most disappointing in the pre-Christmas weeks so far," it said.

Experian noted that as Internet shopping for Christmas draws to a close retailers may expect a last-minute rush of festive shoppers. On Sunday John Lewis, the employee-owned group seen as a barometer for the UK retail sector, said sales at its department stores were down 1.8 percent on a year ago in the week to December 20, a pick-up from the 4 percent decline in the previous week.

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Greg Mahlich)