Retail footfall in Northern Ireland declined by 1.5% in March, according to the latest NIRC Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor.
March's decline, however, is an improvement on the figure for February (-5.1%), and the industry can "take some solace from the fact that we have beaten the [UK] national average, with some regions and Wales having a decline of over 3%," said Aodhán Connolly, Director, Northern Ireland Retail Consortium.
Connolly added that the Northern Ireland Executive needs to make "clear, bold and effective decisions [...] to support an industry which employs over 70,000 directly and more through the supply chain. A concerted effort need to be made by all to make Northern Ireland a more competitive place to do business."
The NIRC called on the Executive to address areas such 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," said Connolly.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones