Bargain hunters helped drive online retail sales last month but a drop in footfall on the high street at the weekend suggests the soaring trade on the internet is hitting stores that do not have an online presence.

Despite the recession, online spending surged by 16% in November compared with the same time last year, according to the IMRG Capgeminie-retail sales index. Last month's sales were also up by 26% on October, when the fallout from the banking crisis hit consumer confidence.

In a separate survey, Experian found that retail footfall dropped by an average of 9.1% at the weekend; Saturday's high street traffic fell by 13.12% and Sunday's by 4.99%.

The Independent