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Study highlights impact of rising staff costs for convenience retailers.

3 Apr 2024

Research by the University of Stirling and the Scottish Grocers’ Federation has shed light on the impact of rising staff costs on the convenience retail sector in Scotland.
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Independent department stores hitting a sweet spot on local high streets.

3 Apr 2024

With large national chains increasingly disappearing from the high street, Drapers magazine has been looking at how independent department stores are stepping up their offerings to... Read more…

Entries open for 2024 Baking Industry Awards

2 Apr 2024

The Baking Industry Awards return for their 37th year and are once again ready to recognise and reward the very best people, products, and businesses in the sector. The awards showcase the... Read more…

Family-owned cycle shop celebrates 90 years trading in Walsall.

2 Apr 2024

Walsall's cycling community has been celebrating a family-owned business which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.
 
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Payment-processing outages at UK retailers raise reliability issues for cashless transactions.

2 Apr 2024

Recent payment disruptions at supermarkets and fast-food outlets have raised questions on the need for improved reliability.
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North Yorkshire cycle hub up for top tourism award

22 Mar 2024

Rob Brown, co-director of Dalby Forest Cycle Hub, a not-for-profit hire scheme has been nominated for the Tourism Superstar 2024 award, run by VisitEngland.
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Independent retail bodies welcome new report aimed at tackling retail crime.

21 Mar 2024

ACS (The Association of Convenience Stores) and the Federation of Independent Retailers (The Fed) have both welcomed a new report published by the Association of Police and Crime... Read more…

Indie retailers outperformed supermarkets in sales of organic food, wellness and beauty products in 2023.

21 Mar 2024

As reported by Healthstores UK, new data contained in the 2024 Soil Association Organic Market report shows that independent retailers delivered an impressive 10% growth in 2023, with... Read more…

Cheltenham beer shop and bar wins top UK award.

21 Mar 2024

An independent bottle shop and bar in Cheltenham has been named as the UK's Independent Beer and Wine Retailer of the Year 2024 at the Drinks Retailing Awards. 
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Welsh Government Announce £20m Future Proofing Fund for Retail Businesses in Wales

21 Mar 2024

A number of organisations, including Bira (the British Independent Retailers’ Association), other trade associations, BIDs and unions have met with officials from the Welsh Government to... Read more…

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Shop occupancy rates improve despite cost-of-living crisis

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News

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.

empty ship

Figures in a report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Local Data Company (LDC) showed the overall vacancy rate improving to 13.8%.

It marked a 0.1 percentage point improvement on the July-September period, the report showed.

The total was also 0.6 percentage points better than the same period last year and marked the fifth consecutive quarter of falling vacancy rates in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

Despite government support, a swathe of chains and independent stores closed amid the public health restrictions.

A shift towards online shopping and staying at home during the pandemic was soon followed by a surge in costs following the reopening, with stores and hospitality struggling to recruit staff at the same time.

Costs tied to the reopening were exacerbated by energy-led inflation, which is still, industry says, claiming victims by the day as many struggle to pay their way at a time of depressed spending by consumers.

The report showed that Greater London, the South East and East of England had the lowest vacancy rates.

While the highest rates were in the North East, followed by Wales and the West Midlands.

The North East, however, was seeing the highest rates for store openings.

The study suggested this was being aided by a return of investment, supported by the return of people to offices and the repurposing of many abandoned sites.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive officer of the BRC, commented:

"The first half of 2023 will likely be yet another challenging time for retailers and their customers.

"There are few signs that retailers' input costs will ease, putting further pressure on margins, and making businesses think twice on how much investment to make.

"However, the situation should improve in the second half of the year, as inflationary pressures begin to ease and consumer confidence is expected to return."

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