NI shopping footfall drop

Shopper numbers in Northern Ireland (NI) dropped by 5.1 per cent year-on-year in February 2014, according to the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC).

The NIRC/Springboard Footfall Monitor shows that shopping numbers in NI continue to trail behind the whole the UK which saw a fall of 2.9 per cent in February 2014 compared to a year earlier.

Summary of UK figures:

  • High streets were hardest hit, dropping 5.3 per cent - the largest drop since March 2013
  • Out-of-town locations experienced a 2.3 per cent rise in footfall
  • Shopping centres declined by 2.4 per cent.

Aodhán Connolly, director of the NIRC, said:

"After the positive start to the year, we have seen a slight, but expected, drop back in February.
"This trend is in line with the rest of the UK, and highlights the challenging month retailers had right across the board.

"We fully expect that it will take time to recover from the low footfall levels seen in December, and we are encouraged to see that February's figures are going in the right direction."

Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights Director at Springboard, said:

"With a drop in footfall of 5.1 per cent, Northern Ireland's retail locations were less resilient than the UK as a whole in February, which recorded a decrease in footfall of 2.9 per cent.

"Inevitably high streets bore the brunt of the weather with a drop in footfall of 5.3 per cent across the UK compared with 2.4 per cent in shopping centres which benefit from sheltered environments. Despite being exposed to the elements, the accessibility of parking and its proximity to the shops in out of town locations meant that footfall increased by 2.3 per cent nationally."