Shoppers shun high street stores
Northern Ireland's high streets have suffered another drop in shopper numbers.
Consumers may have cut back in February after taking advantage of sales at the start of the year, according to the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium which represents larger businesses.
Last month numbers were 5.1% lower than a year ago.
Aodhan Connolly, director of the consortium, 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."
He added: "Retailers in Northern Ireland enjoyed great success from the creative ways they tempted shoppers into their stores in January, and it may be that having taken advantage of those promotions, consumers have cut back slightly this month."
He said retailers will be examining this drop in footfall carefully, and considering what steps they might take to attract more people to town centres.