Boxing Day sales are expected to plummet after Covid-19 restrictions meant shops in many areas were forced to stay closed.
By midday, footfall was down 60% across the UK compared with last year, according to experts Springboard.
Stricter measures have been introduced in much of the UK with 40% of England’s population now under tier four rules, meaning non-essential shops must shut.
Analysts said footfall had dropped even where other retailers could open.
National lockdowns in Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as most of mainland Scotland being placed into its own level four restrictions, meant non-essential stores are forced to be closed on what is traditionally a big day in the retail calendar.
Footfall in tier four regions of England fell by 77.3% compared with last year, and even in tier two and three areas where shops are open, footfall was down by 38.2% and 42.4% respectively, according to Springboard, which analyses customer activity in stores.
An estimated £2.7bn will be spent by UK shoppers by the end of 26 December, with each consumer planning to spend an average of £162 online, according to research from Barclaycard, down from last year’s projection of spending an average of £186 each and a total of £3.7bn.