Figures from the British Retail Consortium released on Tuesday showed the high street wasn't out of the financial woods just yet, with 2013 predicted to be as tricky as 2012.
But how did the sector fare last year? Insolvency practitioners Cooper Williamson's trading company Real Business Rescue has produced a list of 2012's biggest winners and losers, as well as compiling data which showed £5.4bn was spent in the retail sector on 27 December 2012 alone.
Elsewhere, credit experts Experian found that online sales seriously outshone figures from 2011 - 2.18 billion visits went to online retail sites in December 2012, up 30% from the previous year. In addition, Click and Collect services - a big winner for John Lewis - grew by 40%, a saving grace for last minute shoppers.
Email also had a big impact on how we spent our money - Christmas emails sent on Wednesdays had the highest unique click rates at 3.2%, and customers were 40% more likely to open Christmas emails send in the morning than those sent in the evening. There was a 9% increase in conversion rates from mobile-optimised emails.
It wasn't all online though; in-store sales started on Christmas Eve this year for a lot of retailers, which caused an 86% uplift in visits to retail sites compared to Christmas Eve 2011.
Saturday 22 December was the biggest day of 2012 for footfall, as shoppers flocked to the high street for last minute gifts. Footfall also increased after Christmas - by 52% between 26 and 27 December - as shoppers hunted for bargains in the post-Christmas sales.
More results from Experian's results can be seen below.
Lego and iPad minis were among the most searched for Christmas present ideas on 3 December, often referred to as Cyber Monday.
The term ‘Onesie’ was also popular, with 12% of searches also including the word 'men' in the search term, compared to just 5% of searches with 'women' in the term. Interestingly, the most popular animal onesie search terms were 'giraffe', 'tiger' and 'penguin'.