Average footfall in the UK for December fell by 0.7% compared to last year’s festive season.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), while there has been a year-on-year decrease, this figure is more encouraging than the 2.4% fall in November this year.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “This is undoubtedly a result of the continuing changes in the way we all prefer to shop. It’s worth noting that fewer shoppers doesn’t necessarily equal poorer sales – in fact, we know that sales have been strong across the Christmas period.

“This tells us that retailers are getting to grips with the way people’s shopping habits are changing and using methods like click-and-collect to drive internet traffic toward physical stores while, at the same time, targeting discounts to encourage higher sales. What we are seeing currently is the online and physical retailing finding out how they best fit together in the new multi-channel world.”

Footfall in shopping centres was 0.1% down on the previous year for December.

Out-of-town footfall reported the only rise, 1.3% higher than a year ago, and has experienced positive footfall growth for every month in 2014.

Only two regions in England reported positive footfall – the South East (3.4%) and East (2.2%).