Shopper numbers were down 10.6% in the week beginning 8 December, compared with the same week in 2018, data from Ipsos Retail Performance shows.
Ipsos has revised its December-on-December footfall forecast downwards by 1.4%, to -6.1%.
It follows a 20.9% increase in shopper numbers in the week beginning 24 November, as a result of the combination of Black Friday campaigns and payday week.
“Last week was something of a surprise following the first fortnight of the month, which fell in line with predictions,” said Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance. “Footfall decreased by 1.8% week on week and by 10.6% against the same week of last year. We would normally expect to see slight growth week on week in Week 3, before building again sharply to its crescendo on Super Saturday in the final full week before Christmas.
“We are not overly concerned at this point, but this is the week that really matters as it will shape the outcome of the Christmas campaign. Anything short of a 12.5% lift in footfall against last week would signify a disappointing end to another difficult year for retailers. The jury is out where we will end up.”