UK shopper traffic fell across the ‘Panic Saturday’ weekend, with footfall down 4.03% year-on-year, according to retail intelligence specialist, FootFall.

Unlike last year, which saw stores inundated with last minute shoppers on the Saturday before Christmas, (Panic Saturday) online shopping has continued to dominate how consumers are purchasing last minute Christmas gifts.

This, FootFall, suggests is due to retailers offering even later deadlines for Christmas deliveries, with the likes of Amazon’s Prime same day delivery service and other brands, such as Not On The High Street, promising to fulfil gift orders made by midday on the 23 December in time for the big day.

Christmas shoppers are expected to start switching from buying gifts online to making festive purchases in-store on Panic Monday (21st December), when shopper traffic is predicted to rise 2.5% year-on-year. What’s more, the busiest day for footfall is expected to peak on Tuesday 22nd December, up 54% on the daily average.

Steve Richardson, UK Regional Director at FootFall, commented: “We expect the Panic Monday shift – when consumers abandon online shopping and take to the streets, in a bid to ensure they tick off all the final gifts on their Christmas lists – to be even more pronounced this year.”

“As Christmas falls on a Friday, there have only been three Mondays in December 2015, whereas the past three years (2012 – 2014) had four Mondays, making the shift to in-store shopping even more marked. What’s more, as consumers might choose to take off a few days ahead of Christmas, this could also mean we see more shopper traffic on the High Street and in shopping centres, as consumers feel they aren’t reliant on online shopping alone.”

“Based on trends from the last six years, and with this year’s footfall set to follow the same pattern as 2009, when Christmas Day also fell on a Friday, we expect Tuesday 22 December to be the busiest day in terms of shopper traffic, up 54% on the daily average and 2.2% year-on-year.”