Published Monday, 17 March 2014
High street shoppers cut back in February. (© Pacemaker)
According to the NI Retail Consortium, which represents larger businesses, the figures for the past month were down 5.1% on a year ago.
The January sales have been blamed.
Aodhan Connolly of the consortium said: "Retailers in NI enjoyed great success from the creative ways they tempted shoppers into their stores in January, and it may be that having taken advantage of those promotions, consumers have cut back slightly this month."
Mr Connolly added that it will take time for footfall to recover from the low levels seen in December, but added that this mirrors the experience in towns and cities across the UK.
He went on: "After the positive start to the year, we have seen a slight, but expected, drop back in February. This trend is in line with the rest of the UK, and highlights the challenging month retailers had right across the board."
© UTV News