The British Retail Consortium reported a 1.2% fall in retail footfalls for December 2012 as shoppers tightened spending and choose to make purchases online.

All types of shopping locations in the country witnessed an across-the-board fall when compared to November 2012 with Shopping Centers suffering the most at 2.8% negative growth.

Weak spending, falling disposable incomes and growing popularity of online retail, such as – ‘click and collect’ services, were highlighted to be the key reasons behind the falling figures.

British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson remarked that the fall in footfalls is consistent with the decreasing trend seen in December retail sales.

"In December, customers were savvy to retailers’ discounting, leaving it very late to do the bulk of their Christmas shopping, holding off until the last full week before Christmas when footfall increased annually by 7.5 per cent.

"However, this late surge wasn’t enough to drive footfall up from last year, leaving the month down by 1.2 per cent year on year," added Dickinson.

On a positive note the BRC added that conversion rates of customers were on the rise, implying when customers ventured out to buy, they purchased more when compared to the earlier year,

Wales saw the biggest drop in footfall last month, down 11.5%, followed by the East of England with a 7.1% drop.

The north and Yorkshire regions both saw shopper numbers decline by 4.8%.

Footfalls across four regions closed higher in year-on-year comparisons, led by the west Midlands with a 10% growth, Scotland up 6.2% and London 3.1% higher.