SHOPPER footfall saw an unexpected and significant drop on New Year’s Eve as cautious consumers switched their spending to online retailers, figures show.

Bricks and mortar retailers suffered a 10.5 per cent drop in footfall compared with the same 24 hours on New Year’s Eve last year, according to monitoring service Springboard.

Shoppers had to contend with wind and rain from Storm Dylan but the weather had mainly cleared up by the early evening.

The poor performance follows a 4.5 per cent fall on Boxing Day, and a 2.3 per cent fall between December 27 and December 30 — when it was hoped retailers would see their tills recover during the peak sales period. High street footfall for the Boxing Day sales fell by 5.9 per cent on last year as the number of shoppers hunting for bargains on Christmas Day rose.

However footfall recovered on New Year’s Day, rising by 16.8 per cent on the same time last year, although at least part of this uplift is thought to have been due to January 1 falling on a Monday.