Northern Ireland High Street footfall slumps by 2.3% during September
Northern Ireland's high streets are in the midst of a "downward footfall trend", according to new figures that show a drop of 3.1% in footfall last month.
The research, from the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC) and Springboard, showed that high street footfall here fell by 2.3% during September.
That fall was gentler than that seen in August, but worse than the 12-month average decline of 1.2%.
But shopping centres here had the worst September in the United Kingdom, with footfall down 5.5% from August 25 until September 29, making it the worst in all UK regions.
Aodhan Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, said: "September was another disappointing month for footfall in Northern Ireland with a further similar dip to that witnessed in August, very much reflective of what we have seen with consumer spending too over recent months.
"The looming threat of a no-deal disaster is affecting consumer spending. It is no surprise that retail sales growth was in the red in the latest BRC figures."
He said many consumers had held off from non-essential purchases, or shopped around for bigger discounts.
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And he said that new autumn clothing ranges in the shops suffered from warmer September weather.
The ongoing political gridlock surrounding Brexit is harming both consumers and retailers.
He added: "Clarity is needed over our future trading relationship with our closest neighbours, and it is vitally important that the UK does not leave the EU without a deal."