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‘Political Instability’ Affecting Northern Ireland Retail Footfall

The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC) has suggested that ‘political instability’ at Stormont is leading to a dip in consumer confidence, which in turn is resulting in lower retail footfall.

Footfall numbers in the North were 2.4% down in August, compared to the same period last year, according to the NIRC’s ‘Springboard’ Footfall and Vacancies Monitor, with High Streets down 2.3% and Shopping Centres down 2.8%.

Commenting on the numbers, Aodhán Connolly, Director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium said that “the political instability currently seen in Northern Ireland will not have a positive effect on consumer confidence, nor on the future investment plans for retailers in Northern Ireland.

"We urge the political parties to work together in this fresh round of talks to ensure that Northern Ireland nurtures an investment friendly atmosphere by providing certainty, clarity and stability.”

The figures, however, are more positive than those for July, which posted a 4.5% decline year-on-year, and are the best since May 2015, when a 3.5% decline in footfall was posted.

“Although there was a year on year drop on footfall of 2.4 per cent, [the August] result is significantly better than the drop of 4.5 per cent in July and is the best footfall result in Northern Ireland in three months,” said Connolly.

© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones

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