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Will working from home spell disaster for NI city centres?

If workers don't return to offices, businesses that rely on them will struggle, says Emma Deighan

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Northern Ireland has been easing out of lockdown after the virus outbreak.

Northern Ireland has been easing out of lockdown after the virus outbreak.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Shoppers in Belfast

Shoppers in Belfast

Aodhan Connolly

Aodhan Connolly

Neil Gibson

Neil Gibson

Colin Neill

Colin Neill

Northern Ireland has been easing out of lockdown after the virus outbreak.

At the height of lockdown, there was an emerging trend of a drop in footfall in our city centres, according to the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium.

"Larger city centres suffered worse across the UK, with a drop of 89.7% as consumers stuck to their more local shopping areas (during April)," it said.

The trend was notable across all of the UK, with villages and smaller high streets benefiting from the stay-at-home worker.