For the week to December 21, UK retail footfall decreased by -7.7% year-on-year, according to the latest figures from Springboard.
The numbers of online transactions increased by 30.3% from the same days in 2015 compared with 74.5% between 2014 and 2015.
The provider of retail performance benchmarking insights said these statistics will have been influenced by the two extra trading days ahead of Christmas Day this year, with shoppers deferring their present-buying to the last possible moments due to the extra time.
Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said: “Footfall results to date show an edge of caution among shoppers this Christmas. The slow in online transactions confirms this and suggests shoppers may be holding out for Boxing Day bargains.”
“We anticipate this week’s footfall to reach its peak on Friday December 23. Given the week’s performance is already tracking at -7.7% on 2015, overall it is likely to be lower than last year.
“A drop in footfall is not surprising; it’s consistent with the long-term trend, given the growth in online. However, the dampening of online transactions’ growth suggests consumer spend is more widespread than purely retail.
“The first post-Brexit Christmas will be a learning experience for the retail industry, as we observe how shoppers engage with leisure and retail following a tumultuous few months for the economy.”