Shopper footfall for the post-Christmas sales was down 4% on 2018 in a bitter blow for retailers hoping for a positive end to a difficult year.

Following a lacklustre two weeks before Christmas, footfall dropped by an average of 4% on all but one day between December 26 and January 1, retail analysts Springboard said.

December 30 saw footfall increase across all destinations by 11.1% but this was likely to be because the day fell on a Monday rather than a Sunday in 2018, allowing for longer trading hours.

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The most modest decline in footfall was on December 27, which saw a drop of 2.3% to perform better than Boxing Day's fall of 8.6% on the year before.

Springboard said December 27 and December 28 were now key shopping dates, with footfall on each of these days some 7% higher than on Boxing Day.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: "Post 5pm on Boxing Day, footfall declined by less than over the 24 hours, suggesting that consumers are increasingly using Boxing Day primarily for leisure purposes, going out to eat or to the cinema, but possibly combining this with a visit to retail stores rather than shopping being the main focus of the trip."

British chip maker Imagination Technologies has secured a new licensing deal with Apple nearly three years after it was sent reeling when it revealed the US tech giant was ending their previous agreement.

Imagination said in a short statement that the new contract would see it supply Apple with a multi-year licence to use its technology.

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It said this would give Apple "access to a wider range of Imagination's intellectual property in exchange for licence fees".

Imagination's shares plunged in 2017 after the Apple deal revelation, which prompted its takeover by US fund Canyon Bridge Capital Partners for £550 million later that year.

Sports retailer JD Sports Fashion has confirmed it will unveil new pay plans for executives alongside its upcoming annual report after nearly a third of shareholders rejected its remuneration report last year.

The group said it had held initial talks with major shareholders and would continue to seek their views throughout the first three months of 2020 as it draws up the new pay policy.

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It comes after 31% of investors voted against the firm's pay plans at its annual general meeting last July in protest at executive chairman Peter Cowgill's £6 million bonus.