Footfall numbers in Northen Ireland in February were 5.1% lower than a year ago, according to the latest figures from the Northern Irish Retail Consortium and retail performance insights company Springboard.
The drop in footfall is the worst Northern Ireland has seen since November 2015, and is three times worse than in January when footfall dropped by 1.7% year on year.
Aodhán Connolly, Director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium said; “The fact that there was a significant drop in footfall in February shows the volatile nature of the retail market in Northern Ireland. This is the weakest performance since November, and is by far the worst performance of any of the countries and regions of the UK.
"We need the devolved Executive to recognise the cumulative burden faced by retailers in areas as diverse as business rates, the National Living Wage and the introduction of the apprenticeship levy. Policy makers must support retailers to allow us to continue to invest and play our part in a strong recovery here in Northern Ireland,” he continued.
Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard also commented, saying; "Footfall in Northern Ireland is typified by volatility, with swings from month to month, reflected in a drop in high street footfall of 5.5 per cent in February, compared with a rise of 2.6 per cent in January.
"However in high streets, it has also been relatively resilient, with an overall trend since January 2015 that has been more favourable than the UK as a whole."
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Niall Swan