Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Let's hope Belfast trading boom keeps up

Shoppers in Corn Market, Belfast
Shoppers in Corn Market, Belfast

Business is booming, or at least that's the word from the retailers of Belfast.

The above survey by Belfast City Centre Management said well over 200 of its members saw a bump-up in sales over December and January.

Although the percentage increases don't seem like much, for beleaguered retailers, an uptick of 5% or so on the year is the sort of improvement dreams are made of.

Much to our disappointment, the trade body won't release the actual sales numbers in value terms, so we'll have to take their word that the increase is sound.

But there's no doubting that a warmer mood is enveloping retailers as the recovery starts to spread.

The figures chime with data from the British Retail Consortium, which reported a jump in sales across the UK in January.

However, the BRC reported a slower February, so time will tell whether the retailers of Belfast can maintain their positive momentum.

As well as the downturn in the economy, they and their peers have had to deal with the growing trend for online shopping over the last few years.

With Belfast on the road to recovery, let's hope shopkeepers in the rest of Northern Ireland have had a similar change of fortune.

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