A shopper walks past a Covid-19 sign outside a gift shop in Belfast city center. Photo: Brian Lawless / PA Wire
Emma Deighan Twitter
The increase in traffic was due to the reopening of the non-essential retail store on April 30, according to retail expert Springboard.
It also found that the number here is a stark contrast to the main roads in other parts of the United States Kingdom, where visitor numbers fell 6.6% for the week starting May 2nd.
Northern Ireland’s visitor numbers were 242.8% higher than in 2020 but still lower (-7 , 8%) than in the same period in 2019.
At the UK level, the decline in traffic on main streets during the week was 35% lower than in 2019.
The data also showed that retail parks were the most resilient Shopping destinations across the UK remained. Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, said, “The retail parks’ continued resilience throughout the pandemic in sustaining shoppers resulted in visitor numbers in this destination type last week just slightly below pre-2019 pandemic levels. «
She added: » Northern Ireland’s 21.1% increase in main roads last week was more modest than the 93.2% increase in UK main roads when stores reopened in England. We would therefore assume that the number of visitors to Northern Ireland will continue to increase in the following weeks.
« Still, a lot will depend on the weather, and rain is forecast for much of this week, which will always be a deterrent for shopping trips on the main street . «
Last week Rushmere Shopping Center in Craigavon announced it was enjoying its busiest holiday weekend in existence, with more than 136,000 shoppers visiting the center.
The UK’s main streets suffered during Multiple losses to the pandemic, with big names like Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Debenhams pulling down the shutters.
In the meantime, brands like Argos and Gap are downsizing, which will leave more gaps on Main Street.
Ms. Wherle said « Losing such big names » is inevitably detrimental to the pedestrian zone as the choice is limited. «
» Northern Ireland’s main streets s ind, however, may be better isolated from the effects of major street name closures as they have a strong local profile with a good representation of independent retailers offering a diverse range of retail options. «
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