Shopper numbers in NI ‘disappointing’

The number of people shopping in Northern Ireland’s high streets has suffered a 6% drop in June, retailers have said.

The figures are considerably worse than the whole of the UK where the total was up 0.1%.

In June, shopper numbers in Northern Ireland were 5.9% lower than a year ago, compared with a 3.1% decline in May 2013, according to figures from Springboard.

Greater London, Wales, the West Midlands and Scotland all reported a rise in footfall above the UK average.

“June has been a disappointing month on Northern Ireland’s high streets. Despite the good offers and promotions that are available at the moment, shoppers have continued to stay away,” Aodhán Connolly, Director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium said.

“Northern Ireland retains the unfortunate position of showing the worst performance in the UK.

“As the weather improves, retailers will be hoping that the summer sunshine helps to tempt customers back to the high street in the coming months.”

However, one shopping centre in Craigavon has reported a rise in visitor numbers by more than 5% in the first five months of 2013 compared to the same period last year.

Martin Walsh, Rushmere Shopping Centre Manager, said: “By providing units of the size and scale that meets the needs of modern retailers, and by working hard to provide visitors with a strong choice, we have been successful in achieving sustainable growth which secures and increases jobs and which ultimately results in greater local and regional economic benefits.”


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