Published Monday, 19 August 2013
Retailers got a boost by consumers buying seasonal produce. (© UTV)
Business owners read the sweltering weather and improving economic outlook well by encouraging people to buy seasonal food for the barbecue and summer fashion, the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC) said.
In July last year, heavy downpours were blamed by some retailers for disappointing footfall.
However, this time around Northern Ireland reported footfall above the UK average.
This was a marked improvement on June's 5.9% decline and the first rise in figures since February.
Shop vacancy rates remained almost the same at 18%, well above the UK average.
Aodhan Connolly is director of the consortium which represents large corporations such as Tesco and Homebase.
He said: "It's a real relief to see that shopper numbers are on the up again after the previous month's steep drop.
"There are signs that retailers also read the weather and improving economic outlook well, encouraging more of us out to shop for seasonal food, fashion and other summer must-haves with broad ranges and targeted promotions."
Mr Connolly added: "The vacancy figures offer less cause for cheer - although marginally down on the previous quarter, Northern Ireland still retains the unenviable position of having the highest number of empty shops by quite a considerable margin.
"Over the coming months, we'll be working closely with government to explore ways to support investment and make a tangible and lasting difference to our town centres."
© UTV News