UK shoppers spent £767m less on the high street in 2005 than they did in 2004, according to a report by retail analyst Verdict Research.
The drop from £123.07bn to £122.3bn was blamed on an increase in online spending, which rose to £560 per head in 2005 from £436 in 2002.
The results show the first decline in high street shopping figures for 20 years, but research from shopping reward portal Mutual Points suggests that the problem is likely to get worse.
A third of the 3,500 people surveyed in London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh indicated that they intend to increase their spending online in the next 12 months.
As a result of this, 44.1 per cent said that they would be spending less on the high street.
The intention to boycott the high street was strongest in Edinburgh and Manchester, where just under half of respondents said that they would spend less in the shops as they bought more items on the web.
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