The number of people heading to the Boxing Day sales seems to have fallen for a third year in a row.

It follows a difficult year for high streets, as they compete with online and out-of-town shopping.

In Morpeth in Northumberland, retail bosses say the town has had to adapt, to pull in festive trade.

Shoppers in Morpeth. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The town has rolled out the red carpet for shopping, and is bucking the trend. Footfall in December is up on last year, with around 400 thousand people shopping here.

And this year Morpeth was launched as a shopping destination for the festive period - with special events taking place.

Retail bosses say it's all part of creating an experience for its customers.

I think they want to be looked after. I think they want to be appreciated. It's quite easy to go home online shopping and spend money that way, but if you come out to your local high street where there's a nice experience, a nice atmosphere, it all adds to it.

Joel Plumley, Sanderson Arcade Manager

And when it comes to getting bargains, it could be that the days of flash sales are behind us.

Many stores are running discounts all year round.

As shopping habits change, retailers are having to adapt.

And even though one of the town's delis is offering no discounts, it's having its busiest Christmas in eight years.

Well, we don't have a sale. We never have a sale before Christmas.

Dave Robinson, The Morpeth Larder

So Morpeth has been full of shoppers at Christmas, when other places have seen a decline.

Perhaps the secret is making high street shopping a special 'red carpet' experience - something quite different from buying online.