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Bira leads £1 billion damages claim against Amazon by UK retailers in landmark collective action

12 Jun 2024

A £1 billion damages claim has been filed against Amazon on behalf of retailers selling on Amazon’s UK marketplace for illegally misusing their data and manipulating the Amazon Buy... Read more…

Bira responds to KPMG Retail Sales Monitor report

10 Jun 2024

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has responded to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor for May 2024.
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Small independent Harrogate shop does it again at the national level with new awards glory

10 Jun 2024

Independent Harrogate computer shop Phase 4 Computers has been named as a finalist in the Tech Awards 2024.
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Knutsford fashion show highlights town's 'amazing independent shops'

10 Jun 2024

Independent boutiques in Knutsford have teamed up once again to showcase their new designs at the third Flash Fashion.
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Increasing numbers of UK consumers limiting their spending to goods on promotion

10 Jun 2024

Research of over 1,000 UK shoppers by Pricer shows 27% now only buy grocery items which are on offer – a +6 percentage increase compared to 2023. 
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Taunton book shop to host three talks from climate specialists ahead of election

10 Jun 2024

Independent Taunton book shop Brendon Books is to host talks from climate specialists ahead of the general election.
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Bira releases new podcast exploring accessibility on the High Street

3 Jun 2024

The British Independent Retailers Association has released the second episode of its 'High Street Matters' podcast series, this time tackling the important issue of accessibility for independent... Read more…

Independent Retailers Association Survey Shows Challenging Q1 for Traders

29 May 2024

Many independent retailers across the UK faced a difficult start to 2024 according to a new survey by Bira, the British Independent Retailers Association and the Association of Cycle Traders... Read more…

Harrogate record shop marks 30th anniversary with vinyl revival

29 May 2024

P&C Music – Harrogate's oldest independent record shop – is celebrating its 30th anniversary, having become a mecca for vinyl record fans in a wide variety... Read more…

Crickhowell’s Book-ish crowned best independent bookshop in UK and Ireland

28 May 2024

 A Powys bookshop has been named as the best independent in the UK and Ireland.
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Rural shops more important than ever, new report shows.

Posted on in Business News

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.


The report outlines the difference that the UK’s 17,986 rural shops make as secure local employers, as entrepreneurs investing and working with local businesses, and as essential service providers.

Key findings include:

  1. Rural shops employ over 170,000 people, the majority of which live very close and can walk to work.
  2. Rural consumers see convenience stores as the most essential service in their local area.
  3. Independent retailers in rural areas are at the heart of their community, with more than 4 in 5 engaging a range of different community activities over the past year.
  4. Rural shops generated £17.1bn in sales and over £3.8bn in GVA over the last year. 

The Rural Shop Report highlights the work that convenience retailers are doing to provide essential goods and services to their communities, but there are significant challenges facing stores trading in rural and isolated areas.

As part of the launch, ACS is engaging with MPs on the actions that government can take to support rural shops and ensure that there’s a level playing field between rural businesses and their more urban counterparts.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Rural shops make a huge difference locally, as a social hub, a stable employer, and a provider of essential services that would otherwise not be available at all.

“We are calling on MPs to help rural retailers in the battle against shop theft and abuse, to enable stores to continue providing access to cash for customers, and to level up the digital infrastructure that connects rural shops so that they can invest in modernising their businesses.”

Rural Services Network chief executive Kerry Booth said: “We are delighted at the Rural Services Network to be supporting the launch of the Rural Shop Report.

“Rural shops play a critical role at the heart of our rural communities helping to reduce isolation and loneliness, and enabling residents to benefit from services that, due to poor connectivity or lack of transport links, they would be otherwise unable to access.”

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