Footfall on the high street dropped 9% year-on-year on December 21 and 22, dashing retailers’ hopes of a last-minute Christmas rush.
Retail consultancy Springboard has reported that shoppers saved on gifts this year, and instead spent their money in restaurants and pubs in the run-up to Christmas.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “There is a downward movement in footfall anyway but we are seeing greater drops in the run-up to Christmas this year. It’s partly because we have now got Black Friday and that has fed the habit to shop online. Retailers have gone hell for leather with bargains but a lot of those will have been bought online for click-and-collect later.”
She added: “The changing of shopping habits towards buying online and unseasonably balmy temperatures have meant there is little demand for new coats, boots and knitwear. “