Retail sales withstand fall in Q3 footfall
Footfall, a key indicator of shopping activity, fell by 1.7pc in the Republic of Ireland for the third quarter of 2010 maintaining the trend seen in the second quarter.
In contrast footfall in Northern Ireland increased by 0.6 pc in the same period, according to Experian, the global information services company.
Experian's National Footfall Index shows that year on year, footfall in the Republic of Ireland fell by 1.9 pc in July, 2.6 pc in August, and 0.8 pc in September.
In the North, footfall fell by 3.7 pc in July, but rose by 0.5 pc and 3.7 pc in August and September respectively.
On the other hand, research by Savills shows that Irish shopping centres with entertainment or leisure offerings integrated into them are performing better than those which don't have entertainment offerings.
"Those with entertainment recorded a smaller drop in footfall numbers, as consumers are increasingly using centres as entertainment destinations," says Davina Gray research analyst, Savills.
She also says that since the recession consumers are prolonging their time in shopping centres but have significantly reduced their spend and now purchase value goods and snacks. Consumers have become more price- and value-aware as seen in retail sale value and volume data.
Experian executive John Blood, acknowledged that the latest CSO figures showed retail sales in the Republic rose in August however he pointed out that the footfall figures for that month were actually down almost 5pc on the previous month (July 2010).
"Footfall decreased again by 4pc in September. 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."
He also believes that the numbers of southern shoppers going north is starting to level off.