In the North of Ireland, more people ventured out on the high street last month than at any other time in the last four years, according to the Irish Times.
Footfall in towns and shopping centres in the North grew by 6.2%, which is the fastest rate of growth since 2014.
The Irish Times revealed that these latest figures came from the latest Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC)/ Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor.
Hight Street On Top
The report highlights that shopper figures rose by 3.6% in June in the North, which was a stark contrast to the UK overall, which saw footfall slip for the seventh consecutive month.
Retail parks also saw a strong performance mirroring that of the high street, however shopping centres missed the trend with a 4.4% drop in footfall.
According to Aodhán Connolly, director of the NIRC the latest shopper statistics are a “small tonic for retailers”.
“It is particularly encouraging to see the high street having it’s best footfall result in four years. Usually, we would be somewhat cautious about highlighting the impact of the weather being a factor in our footfall but NI consumers are literally buying as the sun shines,” Connolly said.
“However just as one swallow doesn’t make a summer, one set of good results is not a portent to retail revival.”
Connolly said that retailers in the North of Ireland need to “make our retail areas a destination” if they are to capitalise on the increased footfall.
“We need to work with the hospitality and leisure industry so that NI consumers not only want to spend their hard earned money but their time,” he added.
Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director with Springboard, said that there has been a shift among Northern Ireland shoppers to “leisure based trips”.
“Many high streets have capitalised on this trend more swiftly than shopping centres, demonstrated by a rise of 5.2% in daytime footfall in Northern Ireland’s high streets and 7.7% between 5 pm and 8 pm,” she said.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.