Figures released today by Experian, the global information services company, illustrate that, after fourteen consecutive quarters of declining footfall, Irish people are beginning to shop again.
The Footfall Index is a national benchmark of visitor numbers to shopping centres geographically spread throughout Ireland.
Quarter two of 2011 recorded the first year-on-year increase in footfall in the Republic of Ireland since quarter three 2007, increasing by 0.2pc in quarter two 2011 when compared with the same period in 2010.
Meanwhile, after a sharp decline over the past two quarters, footfall figures for Northern Ireland show an increase of 2.9pc in the second quarter of 2011 compared with 2010.
Mark Anderson, head of sales at Experian Ireland, explained: "After a long period of depressed shopping activity across the Republic of Ireland, there seems to be an emerging improvement in footfall, particularly when you compare the figures with the sharp declines witnessed in 2009. While retailers are still experiencing extremely tough trading conditions, the return to positive figures will be welcomed.
“The healthy figures surrounding the January sales, which saw an increase in recorded footfall by 1.3pc has been repeated with the summer sales. June saw the strongest growth since January recording growth of 1.1pc. The poor summer weather has helped with people visiting shopping centres rather than the beach."