The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC) - a part of the British Retail Consortium - has called on the government to offer more support for the nation's ailing high streets.
Indeed, BDO's High Street Sales Tracker indicates consumer spending weakened in April, following the successes of March, during which performances were better than expected.
Against the backdrop of this climate, the NIRC has unveiled a paper that opens up a discussion as to how town centres throughout the nation can be revitalised.
NIRC director Jane Bevis suggested retailers embrace the proposed Business Improvement Districts, as they respond very well to local needs.
She asserted that retailers above all other understand how important it will be to kick-start the economy and that they are waiting for the right frameworks to be announced.
"Our high streets need action now. Legislation inevitably takes a while to put in place but we're not wasting time," Ms Bevis commented.