There was a 21.5% drop in retail footfall for the first week in January, Experian FootFall figures have revealed.
This is a 1.2% drop from the same period at the start of 2011.
Experian said the week-on-week decrease of 21.5% is largely expected at this time of year as consumer focus moves from shopping to repaying the first credit card bills of the New Year.
It is suggested that the gale force winds of up to 100 mph which affected parts of the country last Tuesday may be responsible for the 1.2% year on year decline in footfall levels. This is evidenced by the fact that shopper levels were down nearly 11% on Tuesday compared with the same day last year, and Scotland, which was the worst affected by the winds, shows a 30% decrease from the same Tuesday last year.
The weekly retail parks figure for 2 January to 8 January showed only a 2.4% drop from the last week in December, a 6.9% increase year-on-year.