Bluewater shopping centre in Greenhithe, Kent reported a strong November, with footfall up by 6.2% compared to the same month last year.

Bluewater general manager Andrew Parkinson said: ‘Despite the challenging economic situation, or perhaps in spite of it, guests continue to visit Bluewater in record numbers.

‘Firstly, there were those visiting to shop for friends, family and, in particular, children. A well-known toy brand, for example, has informed us that they cannot restock quickly enough to satisfy demand.

‘The second type of Bluewater guest in November appears to have been coming here to treat themselves, perhaps in anticipation of the Christmas party season and entertaining over the festive period. Handbags, footwear and, possibly in reflection of the cold weather, knitwear, have all been best sellers.

He said he anticipated footfall for the remaining shopping days leading to Christmas to increase further.