Festive footfall delivers a boost for Northern Ireland retailers

Weather conditions, rail disruption and the cost of living crisis all threatened to dampen shopper's Christmas spirit in 2023.

However, consumers continued to head out in force over the festive period offering a welcome boost for the retail sector in Northern Ireland, new MRI data has revealed.

Footfall across Northern Ireland retail rose by 12.1 percent from November to December, boosted in particular by the final trading week before Christmas.

However, shopping figures have failed to reach pre-pandemic levels with footfall down just over 11 percent on 2019 indicating the long-term impacts of the continued rise of online shopping and rising cost of living.

Shopping centres saw the biggest Christmas rush of any retail destination at 17.8 percent - a 3.7 percent increase on last year.

A natural slump is anticipated in January, with footfall projected to decline by 20 to 25 percent but this should stabilise as the month progresses as workers return to the office after the Christmas break.

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