The thinning out of the Christmas high street rush has been blamed on the rise in online sales, with footfall - the number of people who walk into a shop - down by 3.7% compared to the same time in 2012.
Retailers in the United Kingdom are expected to lose £1 billion over Christmas as a result of shoplifting, dishonest employees and vendor or distribution losses, according to a new study released today by the Centre for Retail Research.
The report, funded by an independent grant from Checkpoint Systems, suggests that the losses incurred by the retail industry over this period could add an extra £38.09 to each UK family's shopping bill.
The report found that UK retailers could lose £522 million through shoplifting, £431 million through employee theft, and £47 million through vendor and distribution losses.
In total, the losses could represent a 3.4% per cent increase over the same period last year.
On Mega Monday, people across the UK will go online and use their Visa cards to make 6.8 million transactions, the most in a single day in UK history.
That's 21% more than in 2011, signalling that consumers are becoming increasingly accustomed to the advantages of shopping online for everyday purchases and special items, especially in the lead-up to Christmas.
A combination of pay day for the majority of consumers falling on the last Friday of the month and a weekend spent browsing the shops results in shoppers logging on to buy their gifts online on the subsequent Monday, a Visa Europe report has found.
All of these factors will result in consumers spending £222,222 per minute, making 4,722 transactions every 60 seconds.