Retail activity across the Province slumped again last month as figures for August show shopper numbers 1.5 per cent lower than a year ago.
The details published today in the NIRC/Springboard Footfall Monitor follow July’s encouraging three per cent rise and shows a greater fall here against the UK average drop of 0.9 per cent.
“It’s disappointing to see that shopper numbers are down again after showing an encouraging rise in July,” said Aodhán Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium.
“Key events like the World Police and Fire Games and the Fleadh in Derry attracted over 400,000 global visitors during the August, but despite this major boost to tourism the numbers are back in negative territory, reflecting that our high streets remain in a volatile position.
“Recent months have seen signs of cautious optimism taking hold, but that path to recovery is still fragile,” he added.
“There is a need now for definitive action from the NI Executive to ensure the health and growth of a sector that employs almost 10 per cent of the Northern Ireland working population.”
Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights director at Springboard, said: “Somewhat surprisingly given the continuing hot weather, footfall declined by 0.9 per cent in August, which is the most significant drop since March.”