Footfall in the West End of London dropped across the board in the last full week before Christmas, compared to the same time in 2012.
Figures published by the New West End Company show that on Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street and the side streets surrounding the area, footfall declined in the seven days to December 22.
Regent Street saw the biggest falls, down 12.2% on last year, while Bond Street saw the smallest drop, down 6.3%. In total the number of visitors to the West End fell 9%.
However it rose on a week-by-week basis, on average by 3.6%. The pattern remained the same, with Bond Street seeing the biggest gains, up 6.1%, and Regent Street edging up just 1.6%.
New West End Company highlighted two factors behind the figures – the ongoing impact of the internet, which now takes 12-20% “off the market” – and the general economic situation.
But the organisation also highlighted this year’s Christmas calendar, which sees Christmas Day fall mid-week – as offering some hope of 11th hour shoppers.
A spokesperson said: “Christmas day falls on a Wednesday for the first time since 2003, which gives the traditional ‘last minute’ weekend an extra day.”