Posted on Friday 7 December 2018 by John Mulgrew

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Northern Ireland’s retail sector has a seen a jump of 2.7% in footfall, according to the latest figures.

It was the only region in the UK to see growth during November, according to the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC) with Springboard.

Footfall rose by 4.1% on the high street, while shopping centres fell by 1.3%.

Aodhan Connolly, director of the NIRC, said: “This is definitely a more positive set of results for the retail industry with good news figures on footfall with not only sustained growth, especially on our high streets, but for the second consecutive month we are the only part of the UK that has had any increase.

“Added to this we have had the welcome opening of the tunnel in Belfast City Centre which has allowed businesses to trade and most importantly shoppers to traverse the main thoroughfare. This is hugely important in the run up to our busiest trading period.

“December traditionally accounts for 12.5% of retailers’ yearly sales and with all the tumult and cumulative pressures of 2018, we need shoppers to come out in their droves from Portadown to Portaferry and from Ballinamallard to Belfast.

"Our message is simple. There are great deals to be had and more than ever we need your support.”

Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director, Springboard, said that while footfall declined by 3.2% across the UK in November, Northern Ireland bucked the trend with a rise of 4.1% in its high streets and a modest decline of 1.3% in shopping centres”.

“Across the UK as a whole the evidence is indisputable in illustrating that that Black Friday delivers no tangible benefit to bricks and mortar stores, with a decrease in footfall in November in in every year bar one and the only increase in 2017 was just 0.2%."

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