The frenetic early start to the sales season was not sustained with fewer shoppers on the High Street between Christmas and New Year than last year.
Some shoppers were deterred by the wintry weather
Figures from retail analysts FootFall show an overall 12% fall in the number of shoppers between 26-30 December than during the same period last year.
This was despite a hectic Boxing Day rush for bargains which saw many stores enjoy their busiest day of the year.
Next is the first major retailer to release its sales figures on Wednesday.
Its performance will be keenly watched as will that of John Lewis which will update the market on Friday.
Cold weather and a return to work for many people dampened activity on the High Street after a buoyant start to the sales season.
The number of people visiting major shopping centres was up 8% on Boxing Day and 27 December, as thousands of people queued up to take advantages of bargains at stores such as Selfridges and Next.
However, the momentum was not maintained throughout the week.
Natasha Burton, FootFall's marketing manager, said the overall figures were "disappointing" but said people should reserve judgment about how retailers had fared until they reported their own sales figures.
"Shoppers really took advantage of the holiday days this year and early bird bargains were the watchword of the week," she said.
"Numbers fell as the week progressed, people returned to work and had had their fill of bargain hunting for the week."