Posted on Monday 15 April 2019 by John Mulgrew
Northern Ireland’s high streets have been hit by the biggest drop in footfall across the UK, new figures show.
Footfall across Northern Ireland's shops slumped by 3.3% during March – marking the biggest rate of decline of any of the UK regions, according to fresh figures from the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC) with Springboard.
According to NIRC director Aodhan Connolly, “there has been growing uncertainty across Northern Ireland as we approached the March 29 original Brexit deadline and that uncertainty is reflected in the fact that shoppers did not want to spend as much time in our retail destinations”.
“We now have a window of six months to prevent this Brexit anxiety from affecting our industry and shoppers again, but rather than breathing easy, our politicians and the EU must make a renewed effort to find a solution that prevents a no-deal hard Brexit,” he says.
High streets here suffered the steepest decline in the UK at 3.6%, while retail park footfall had also declined at the same rate.
Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director, Springboard said: “The noticeable drop of 3.6% in high street footfall in Northern Ireland in March brought to the end a five-month period of consecutive increases, and varied from a rise of 2.5% across the UK.
“At least part of this poorer performance is due to a stronger than average comparable in Northern Ireland for March last year, when high street footfall declined by just 1.9% compared with 8.6% across the UK.”