The festive shopping season has given a timely boost to Birmingham’s ailing retailers after a huge jump in footfall.

Retail Birmingham claims visitor footfall increased by 22 per cent in the city centre in the past week – to more than two million visitors – compared to a national average of four per cent.

Trade was boosted by the Christmas Parade, which saw 30,000 visitors flock to the city centre, after the Frankfurt Christmas market brought visitors to Birmingham in droves for its eleventh consecutive year in the city.

The Post reported last week that the West Midlands has seen the largest fall in footfall of any UK region in the past quarter after the number of people in the region’s stores fell by 10.4 per cent in the three months to October.

Jonathan Cheetham, Chair of Retail Birmingham and general manager of The Pallasades, said: “This is huge boost for retailers in Birmingham city centre and we’re delighted by the number of happy visitors and shoppers we’re seeing in the bustling streets and centres. The city centre has fared extremely well when compared against the national average downturn in footfall, proving that the retail offer in the city is second to none.

“Retail Birmingham has worked closely with Marketing Birmingham to contribute to a wide reaching ‘Christmas in Birmingham’ campaign to encourage those from outside the region to come and explore what the city centre has to offer. With so much exciting development in the pipeline, the opening of new stores and centres and an exciting programme of events during 2012, this booming Christmas season is set to start the New Year on the right footing.”

Paul Sutton, general manager of House of Fraser, said: “The programme of events, including our Christmas Grotto and the Frankfurt Christmas Market has undoubtedly kick started and increased footfall within the city centre this season. The store has been noticeably busier over the last week, which is reflected in our sales and we’re hopeful that this will continue into the season given the strong offer that Birmingham city centre as a whole delivers to shoppers from the region and on a national and even international scale.”