Retail is absolutely crucial to the economy of Northern Ireland. It is the largest sector of employment at around 12 per cent of our entire workforce and about 14 per cent of all VAT registered companies providing enormous tax revenue to the exchequer.
Retail is the route to market for all produce, so it supports local industry and agriculture, is intrinsically linked to tourism and with recent new developments, has sustained much of the construction sector.
However, the arrival of big chain stores has threatened smaller businesses in many of Northern Ireland's towns and cities as detailed in this clip from BBC Newsline.
The Northern Ireland economy went through many changes since the end of WWII, with the impact of 'The Troubles' being keenly felt.
Understanding Northern Ireland's key business sectors can help you gain an important insight into the strength of our local economy.
Learn more about by accessing some of the many resources available on the BBC and external sites.
How much have you learned about the local economy, the key business sectors and the impact of globalisation?
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