Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium: "Overall, December saw a continuation of the downward trend in footfall, with shopper numbers falling 0.2 per cent over the previous year. It was a more positive story for the high street, which saw a modest bounce-back with positive growth for the first time in December since 2011, after managing to draw in last minute shoppers.

“Solid festive sales did not translate into a lift in footfall above last year as online continues to grab the lion’s share of growth. Ecommerce accounted for nearly a quarter of all purchases in December, suggesting that more shoppers than ever opted to go online rather than hit the shops.

“Retailers are having to gear themselves up to meet the evolution in shoppers’ requirements from bricks and mortar destinations. This will be key looking ahead, with inflation set to rise and a subsequent squeeze on disposable income; the environment for consumer spending will become increasingly competitive.”

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director, Springboard: “Overall, December saw a continuation of the downward trend in footfall, with shopper numbers falling 0.2 per cent over the previous year. It was a more positive story for the high street, which saw a modest bounce-back with positive growth for the first time in December since 2011, after managing to draw in last minute shoppers.

“Solid festive sales did not translate into a lift in footfall above last year as online continues to grab the lion’s share of growth. Ecommerce accounted for nearly a quarter of all purchases in December, suggesting that more shoppers than ever opted to go online rather than hit the shops.

“Retailers are having to gear themselves up to meet the evolution in shoppers’ requirements from bricks and mortar destinations. This will be key looking ahead, with inflation set to rise and a subsequent squeeze on disposable income; the environment for consumer spending will become increasingly competitive.”