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Concerns expressed by retail leaders following Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

23 Nov 2023

Retail sector leaders have expressed a range of concerns, from taxation to business rates, following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this week.
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Winners of Booker Prize Indie Bookshop Spotlight competition named.

22 Nov 2023

Six independent bookshops from around the UK have been named as the winners of the inaugural Booker Prize Indie Bookshop Spotlight, a competition in which independent bookshops and booksellers... Read more…

New Conservative Party chairman writes responds to NFSP DVLA petition.

21 Nov 2023

The National Federation of Subpostmasters has received a response from new Conservative party chairman Richard Holden MP regarding the petition to keep DVLA services in post offices.
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British Business Bank launches new ‘Making business finance work.

21 Nov 2023

The British Business Bank has launched a new guide aimed at smaller businesses to help them understand how different financial products can support them at all stages of their development.
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Indie Shops to Boycott Black Friday

21 Nov 2023

Independent retailers across the UK are set to defy the Black Friday sales frenzy for the third year running, according to a survey conducted by Bira, the British Independent Retailers... Read more…

Indie shops key to reversing fortunes of struggling high streets, new study shows.

20 Nov 2023

A focus on independent stores and ‘browse-only’ shops can help to reverse the fortunes of the struggling high street, new research shows.
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Bira sets out expectations for this month’s Budget.

15 Nov 2023

The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA), which works with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, has outlined its expectations from the government... Read more…

Mixed picture on consumer spending plans for Christmas

7 Nov 2023

New survey data from Deloitte has shown a seven percentage-point rise in the number of UK consumers - from 19% in 2022 to 26% in 2023 - who intend to spend more in the last three months of 2023,... Read more…

Grants of up to £100,000 made available to boost Cornish High Streets

7 Nov 2023

Communities across Cornwall can now apply for grants of up to £100,000 to improve High Streets, the council has said.
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Warwickshire County Council launches campaign to promote Christmas shopping at independent businesses

6 Nov 2023

A Christmas campaign encouraging Warwickshire’s independent town businesses to shout about why shoppers should buy from them this year is making a comeback.
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The Times names prettiest towns for indie Christmas shopping

Posted on in Business News

With just over six weeks until Christmas, The Times has named what it says are the seven prettiest towns in the UK for Christmas shopping, making special mention of the presence of independent shops to pick up that special Christmas gift.

pretty town

Those making the cut are Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, with special mentions for homeware at Broug’s, designer crafts at Wood & Wire, fair-trade fashion and ethical gifts at Spirals and smellies at the Yorkshire Soap Company.

St Andrews in Fife is praised for its excellent vintage stores and gorgeous bookshops like Topping & Co as well as whisky purveyors, Luvians Bottle Shop; cashmere boutiques like Johnstons of Elgin and suppliers of golfing paraphernalia , The Golf Shop of St Andrews.

Third on the list is Frome in Somerset, which is praised for its “marvellous shopping”. The Times recommends Raves from the Grave record store or the ceramicist-owned Ground for pots and plates.

Cardigan is referenced for its historic shops, with special shout-outs for Tonnau for surf gear, Nant Designs for hand-printed cards and books and Custom House Gallery, which sells works by local artists.

Indie stores that get a special mention in Cambridge include Ark for “gifts for interesting people”, the Cambridge Satchel Company for bags, Serena for jewellery, Laird Hatters for headwear and Lost in Vinyl for records.

The Times piece mentions that there has been a market outside Ludlow Castle since at least 1086 whilst also mentioning Bodenhams for clothes and gifts; Little Twidlets for eco-friendly items; Ludlow Vintage for homeware and The Shop at St Laurence for not-for-profit selling jewellery, toys and more.

The seventh of the seven is Lewes. Highlights include Along Came She, which the article describes as “a cut above your average village womenswear store”; Closet & Botts; Rehab for new and vintage clothing, and From Victoria for botanical gifts.

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