Footfall down 1.7% in last year

Footfall in the Republic for the second quarter of 2010 has decreased by 1.7% compared to the same period last year, according to a new study.

Footfall in the Republic for the second quarter of 2010 has decreased by 1.7% compared to the same period last year, according to a new study.

The analysis by global information services company Experian also revealed that footfall in the North decreased by 6.3% in the same period.

The Experian National Footfall Index shows that year-on-year, footfall in the Republic fell by 1.8 % in April, 1.2% in May, and 2.4% in June.

However in the North, footfall decreased by 10.5% in April and 7.5% in May.

Consumer visits to High Streets and shopping centres appeared to level off in June, with a decrease of only 0.04% recorded compared to 2009.

"After a long period of depressed shopping activity, the footfall figures reported for the first six months of the year, whilst still in negative territory, represent an improvement on the trading conditions experienced by retailers last year," said Paul Slevin, Head of Sales and Marketing for Experian in Ireland.

"In both February and March of this year, we recorded positive footfall values compared to 2009 and this was supported by rising sales volumes as recorded by the Central Statistics Office. Footfall figures for May were up 3.2% compared to April, and similarly June recorded a 5.3% increase compared to the previous month.

"In Northern Ireland, the footfall figure for the first and second quarters decreased by almost six per cent respectively, which is a significant fall. The Retail Price Index illustrates that prices in the Republic are continuing to fall, so the vast price differentials that existed north and south of the border are dwindling.

"In addition, the value of sterling is rising against the euro, which means that Southern shoppers get less for their euro north of the border. It is fair to assume that some of those Southern shoppers, who had been visiting Northern Ireland to take advantage of the weaker pound and lower VAT rate, are now looking for better value for money closer to home."

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