High street hit as customers shop online

CUSTOMERS are increasingly deserting the high street to do their Christmas shopping online, according to two data releases out this morning.

Last week, retailers saw 1.7 per cent fewer customers entering their shops than last year, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-Springboard Footfall Monitor, out this morning. Shopping centres were hit especially hard with a 4.9 per cent drop in footfall.

But customers have not lost their appetite for Christmas spending. Figures from Visa out yesterday showed December spending was up 2.5 per cent compared to last year with online sales soaring 4.4 per cent. Clothing and shoes are the items customers increasingly buy online. Last Monday, dubbed Mega Monday or Cyber Monday, was the busiest online sales day ever in the UK with 7m transactions.