Shoppers shunned the high street for the Boxing Day sales as people opted to stay at home and buy online.
Near closing time yesterday, total shopper numbers had tumbled 4.5% compared to Boxing Day last year, according to data from footfall specialists Springboard. It is thought Black Friday discounts and consumers spending more online may have also played a role in the downturn.
As a result high streets and shopping centres saw a decline in the number of shoppers.
Springboard’s marketing and insights director Diane Wehrle said that although it had expected a downturn, "the scale of the drop is greater than expected."
”What we have seen in the last couple of years is a structural shift in the Christmas trading period.”
Despite the shift in shopper habits, bargain-hunters started queuing outside branches of Next and Selfridges in the early hours of Boxing Day morning.
Many retailers slashed prices by as much as 90% on certain product lines, as businesses attempted to offload excess stock and woo shoppers into stores with rock-bottom prices.