That’s according to the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor, which found the 2.2% decline was marginally lower than the 2.1% decline in November, and underperforming the three-month average decline of 1.6%.
High streets and shopping centres saw further declines in footfall, falling 4% and 2%, respectively. This was the high street’s sharpest decline since November 2014.
Meanwhile, footfall in retail park locations increased 2.1% year-on-year – slightly above November’s 2% rise.
The only region or nation to report a rise in footfall was Scotland, albeit marginally at 0.2%.
Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard, 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; resulting in a drop of 4 per cent in high street footfall was the most severe since November 2014, and far deeper than the drop of 1.8 per cent in December 2014.”