Figures show shoppers spending less in North

IRISH shoppers seem to be spending less in the North, according to new figures.

The latest footfall figures from services firm, Experian show that the inflated figures recorded in the North last year are dropping off.

Footfall in the Republic of Ireland for the third quarter of 2010 fell by 1.7% compared to the same period last year while footfall in the North increased by 0.6% in the same period.

Year-on-year footfall in the Republic of Ireland fell by 1.9% in July, 2.6% in August and 0.8% in September. In the North, footfall decreased by 3.7% in July but rose by 0.5% and 3.7% in August and September. This however is a big change from the large increases recorded last year.

Head of sales and marketing with Experian, John Blood said: “The most recent retail sales figures released by the Central Statistics Office show there was an increase in retail sales in August 2010, however the footfall figures for that month were actually down almost 5% on the previous month. Footfall decreased again by 4% in September 2010. So although August 2010 recorded the first increase in retail sales in more than three months, the overall decreasing footfall registered illustrates that shopping activity continues to be depressed.”

Mr Blood said that the figures for the North might indicate that the inflated figures registered for area due to increased numbers of southern shoppers last year is starting to level off.

“While the footfall figures this year are consistently down compared to last year, September and October are generally quiet before the inevitable ramp up to the festive season.

“Traditionally there is a huge rally in the last two weeks of November, followed by a slight fall in the first week in December, and a further rally in numbers right up to Christmas Eve.”

Mr Blood said that final shopping weeks of the year will ultimately decide whether footfall figures for the full year are up or down on the full year of 2009.

And CSO data released yesterday shows that monthly factory gate prices remained unchanged in September 2010. This compares to an increase of 0.2% recorded for September 2009. As a result, the annual percentage change showed an increase of 0.3% in September 2010, compared with an annual increase of 0.5% in August 2010.


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