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  1. Kelly Collumb

Christmas rush as two million customers hit the shops

More than two million shoppers have visited Birmingham city centre in the penultimate week before Christmas.

Footfall in Birmingham is above the national average this year Credit: PA

Despite the national footfall being low, Retail Birmingham have found that here there is 9.2 per cent more people shopping than the national average.

The figures show an increase on last year which was 7.4 per cent above the national average.

In the first week of December The Bullring shopping centre reported over one million customers taking to the shops in the festive spirit, and they are expecting a high volume of shoppers this week with only days to go.

The Frankfurt Christmas Market has also attracted 40,000 visitors, with the market becoming considerably bigger over the twelve years it has visited the city.


Staying safe whilst Christmas shopping

As many of us start our Christmas shopping, here's a few tips to staying safe whilst hitting the high street during the festive period:

  • Always keep valuables on your person and out of view.
  • Keep your hangbag zipped.
  • Don't leave bags unattended.
  • Never carry your PIN numbers in the same purse or wallet as your bank cards.
  • Don't carry your wallet in your back pocket.

One-way system for Lincoln Christmas shoppers

A new controversial one-way system for pedestrians will be introduced at this year's Christmas market in Lincoln. Shoppers will be directed up Steep Hill and then clockwise around the castle and cathedral area before being funnelled down via Drury Lane and Michaelgate.

The City of Lincoln Council is making the change to make the event safer for the tens of thousands of people who attend and to deal with any worries about overcrowding. Stalls will be spread over a wider area and people will be able to join and leave the one-way route at any point.

Some traders are worried the new one-way system will reduce the number of customers, particularly those at the bottom of Steep Hill who say many of the people who usually visit their businesses prefer to do it on their way back from the market later in the evening.