British retailers suffered a four per cent year-on-year decline in footfall as migration toward online shopping gathers pace.
According to figures compiled by the British Retail Consortium this is the biggest decline since November 2014 and was more than double the 1.8 per cent fall recorded in December 2014.
One sector to buck the trend was out of town retail parks, where footfall actually increased by 2.1 per cent in December, marginally higher than the 2 per cent recorded in November.
Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at retail analysts Springboard, which helped compile the figures, said: “The surge in online spending in December clearly impacted heavily on traditional urban retail destinations. The catalyst was the plethora of online discounts on Black Friday which then continued throughout December.”
A host of retailers have issued profit warnings since the New Year with Poundland and Sports Direct amongst those affected.