We’re open

[30th April] Today is a huge day for many across Northern Ireland, the first in four months that non-essential retail and hospitality venues can reopen. Queues began forming in Belfast before 9am, with people keen to experience shopping in physical locations once again. Since Christmas audiences have been returning and we’ve watched the average mobility figures creep up. Now that more and more parts of the economy are opening in succession, these numbers are now increasing at pace.

In the last week, average mobility has increased by 9%, to 116% (Apple Mobility Data) with daily figures on Friday and Saturday particularly high. Close contact services reopened to the delight of many, drastically increasing the levels of driving activity on Friday and Saturday.

  • Thursday 22nd
  • Friday 23rd
  • Saturday 24th
  • Sunday 25th
  • Monday 26th
  • Tuesday 27th
  • Wednesday 28th
  • 113%
  • 128%
  • 126%
  • 110%
  • 107%
  • 110%
  • 114%

Congestion is reflective of the increased driving activity too, with increased levels in the last fortnight. Not only does this demonstrate the additional levels of driving activity, but it also keeps drivers on the road for longer, increasing the opportunities to view Outdoor campaigns. The chart below uses TomTom congestion data for Belfast, tracking the average levels across the first three days of each week since Christmas.

As of 1.13pm on 30th April, congestion in Belfast is at 54%, higher than we’ve seen at this time of day in some time (2019 average lunchtime congestion is 45%). Clearly the return of retail and hospitality has enticed many people back to the city centre.

Google mobility data, which has a slightly slower delay in reporting, so information is only available until 25th April. With close contact services opening on 23rd April, there hasn’t been a long enough period of reporting to see the full effect this has on mobility, however it continues to increase at a similar pace to previous weeks. Activity in Grocery and Pharmacy locations was up 3% to a weekly average of 106%. Continued footfall in these environments is likely throughout the summer period.

Outdoor advertising northern ireland

Workplaces have seen a small uplift of 4%, bringing the average footfall to 69%. As greater numbers of people return to work in the hospitality and retail sectors, this will continue to increase.

Footfall through retail and recreation environments increased by 5% this week, to 62% of the baseline. As the dates for reporting have a lag time of just over a week, we won’t see much improvement in this yet, however anecdotally footfall in town and city centres today (Friday 30th) has dramatically increased.

Outdoor advertising northern ireland

Parks remain a popular location for many people, with footfall at 137% of the baseline. Average audience flow through parks and beaches is currently higher than in summer 2020, and we would predict that the figure will continue to increase as the weather improves and during the school summer holidays. Our bespoke mapping tools allows us to highlight the OOH panels in proximity to parks and beaches, with the map below showing panels within 300m of these popular locations.

With the high probability that we’ll be sticking with staycations this year, parks and beaches offer an excellent targeting opportunity for brands seeking to showcase their leisure and accommodation options.

Outdoor advertising northern ireland beaches parks