The Northern Irish retail sector has experienced a £270m slump in cross-border spending in the last four years as the euro continues to weaken against the pound.

Cross-border spending is estimated to have fallen to £100m in the last year from £370m at its peak in 2008/09, The Belfast Telegraph reported.

In 2009 hoards of Irish shoppers crossed the border to take advantage of a weak pound and favourable VAT rates in Northern Ireland, boosting the country’s economy.

Economist John Simpson said: “In 2009 when cross-border trade was going very strongly it was worth over £370m a year to Northern Ireland’s economy.

“We are now in a position where there is very little by way of an artificial incentive for that trade to cross the border so we’ve come back to what might be considered more normal cross-border trade.”

The euro fell to a four year low on Friday and footfall in Northern Ireland is at its lowest since September 2008.

A number of Irish retailers are attempting to tempt Northern Irish shoppers over the border with deals to take advantage of the weak euro. However, independent retailers in Northern Ireland are also introducing deals to keep Northern Irish consumers shopping locally.