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30 Jan 2023

The number of shops lying vacant on British high streets fell during the final three months of 2022, despite pressure on both companies and consumers from the rising cost of living.
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Bike Europe has reported Halfords’ financial statement demonstrating that cycling sales have dropped to pre-covid levels.

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Weston-super-Mare seems to be one town in the UK bucking the national trend, with new shops opening and businesses reporting an increase in trade, according to a report by Bristol Live.
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Indie bookshop numbers hit 10-year high in 2022 defying tough retail climate

16 Jan 2023

The number of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland climbed to a 10-year high in 2022, as the book trade defied the odds in an otherwise tough year for high street retailers.
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12 Jan 2023

New banknotes featuring King Charles are to enter circulation by mid-2024. The King’s portrait will appear on four polymer banknotes (£5, £10, £20, and £50).... Read more…

Government scales back energy bill support for businesses

12 Jan 2023

The government has announced it is to scale back support for businesses and their energy bills after warning that the current level of help was too expensive.
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Sector expertise and user experience counts when it comes to retail finance

10 Jan 2023

With retail finance schemes remaining a preferable route for retailers to boost sales during recession than the financial hit required by heavy product discounting, the Association of Cycle... Read more…

Portugal becomes first EU country to cut VAT on bicycle purchases this year

10 Jan 2023

Portugal has become the first EU country to cut VAT on bicycle purchases this year, from 23% to 6%.
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One in three responds to Big Bike Revival to use bike for one in two journeys previously taken by car

9 Jan 2023

Cycling UK says that its Big Bike Revival programme, which encourages people to get unused bikes out of their garages and sheds and start using them for everyday trips, has led to a third of... Read more…

Busiest year yet for TfL’s cycle hire scheme

9 Jan 2023

Transport for London’s (TfL) cycle hire scheme saw more bikes hired during 2022 than any other year in the scheme’s history, with 11.5 million rentals across the year.
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Indie bookshop numbers hit 10-year high in 2022 defying tough retail climate

Posted on in Business News

The number of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland climbed to a 10-year high in 2022, as the book trade defied the odds in an otherwise tough year for high street retailers.

bookshop

The lifestyle changes brought about by the Covid pandemic lockdowns were a boon for the book trade, as Britons with more time on their hands read more and sought out bookshops when they reopened.

There are now 1,072 independent bookshops after the industry enjoyed a sixth consecutive year of growth, according to the Booksellers Association (BA). The resurgence followed a 20-year losing streak in which bookshop numbers sank to a nadir of 867 in 2016.

Meryl Halls, the BA’s managing director, said the independent bookstore revival “confirms that bookshops are crucially important – and valued – parts of our high street communities”.

Despite the trend of new openings, Halls said the challenges facing bookshops and the wider high street could not be ignored. “With the economic headwinds coming our way, recession, inflation, labour shortages and massive cost increases across the board, bookshops need support,” said Halls.

“Margins are extremely tight, and for bookshops to thrive on high streets they need governments to take action to protect small businesses from the cost-of-living crisis, as well as unequal tax burdens such as business rates.”

Between 1995 and 2016, the number of independent bookshop members in the BA dropped from 1,894 to 867 as the industry faced stiff competition from Amazon and financial pressures from business rate hikes. However, with the ongoing resurgence that figure reached 1,072 in 2022, a net increase of 45 on the tally of 1,027 for 2021.

Halls said that during the pandemic there had been a “frankly astonishing number of new entrants to bookselling”, but like other high street businesses these stores were vulnerable as the UK heads into recession.

Last year’s biggest selling authors included Richard Osman with his hugely successful The Thursday Murder Club series, and the “BookTok queen” Colleen Hoover, with titles including It Ends With Us.

“Bookshops bring social and cultural capital to every town, village, suburb or city centre they are part of, and punch way about their weight in terms of impact and engagement locally, and nationally,” she said. “We want the number of bookshops to keep rising.”

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