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Kate Bush named as Record Store Day ambassador.

4 Mar 2024

Pop star Kate Bush has been announced as an ambassador for this year's Record Store Day, on 20 April.
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Shortlist for Independent Bookshop of the Year 2024 revealed.

4 Mar 2024

The British Book Awards has announced its shortlist for Independent Bookshop of the Year. 
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Local Bike Shop Day 2024 confirmed for Saturday May 4th.

4 Mar 2024

The ACT is happy to confirm the date for Local Bike Shop Day 2024 as Saturday 4 May, the weekend of the early May Bank Holiday.
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New research reveals the best cities in the UK for independent retailers.

4 Mar 2024

Research by global fintech company SumUp has revealed the best cities in the UK for independent businesses.
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Rising costs continue to impact hair and beauty sector

21 Feb 2024

The latest quarterly State of the Industry survey from the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) shows that the recovery of the sector was slow and steady through 2023 and into January... Read more…

UK votes for its favourite pun-based shop name

21 Feb 2024

The UK has voted for its favourite pun-based shop name, and 'Sew It Seams' - a clothing alteration store in Belfast - has been awarded the top spot. 
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Town centre shops praise council for initiatives

21 Feb 2024

Businesses in the Devon town of Ottery St Mary have praised their local council for initiatives designed to help support them and boost trade.
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Three UK indie coffee shops named among the most popular in the world.

19 Feb 2024

A new ranking of the most popular independent coffee shops in the world has put three UK cafes in the top 10.
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Age-friendly businesses could revitalise Britain's high streets.

19 Feb 2024

Older people could be the financial shot in the arm needed for Britain’s high street, according to research commissioned by the University of Stirling. 
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Rural shops more important than ever, new report shows.

8 Feb 2024

The ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has celebrated the crucial role that rural shops play in thousands of communities across the UK in its 2024 Rural Shop Report.
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Fed expresses alarm at ‘runaway’ shoplifting incidents.

Posted on in Business News

The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) has expressed alarm at new figures that show shoplifting at its highest level in 20 years.

Wine theft

According to the Office for National Statistics, shop thefts in England and Wales were up by 32% in the year to September 2023.

Fed national president Muntazir Dipoti said: “Shop theft is not victimless. It blights the lives of independent retailers on a daily basis and has significant implications for a store’s viability.

“I am sure that every member has been affected by shop theft at some point and, sadly, many incidents of shoplifting are becoming increasingly violent.”

He added that the cost-of-living crisis and social media have helped fuel the runaway increase in shoplifting offences.

“We are seeing regular customers turning to shoplifting because they can’t afford to live,” he claimed.

It was also possible that the levels were even higher, as many independent retailers were reluctant to report crimes because of poor police responses and “paltry” punishments if offenders did come to court.

Dipoti said: “Retailers are disillusioned by the lack of police action when crimes are committed, so they do not report them.

“Tackling shop theft has to be given the energy and priority it deserves from the police, police and crime commissioners and from MPs – and independent retailers should be given financial support so they can invest in better-quality CCTV to protect them, their staff and their businesses.”

Last year, the Fed launched its “Safe, Secure, Supported” campaign calling for government grants of £1,500 to help independent retailers beef up their security systems.

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