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Independent Retailers Association warns of difficult year ahead.

8 Jan 2024

The British Independent Retailers Association has said 2024 is anticipated to be a challenging period for shop keepers as economic challenges are still set to bite.
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Indie Retail Christmas Opening Hours

20 Dec 2023

The Indie Retail office will be open as usual (9am-5pm) for the majority of the Christmas period, with some exceptions.
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Bira CEO addresses surge in retail crime on the BBC

19 Dec 2023

Bira's CEO, Andrew Goodacre, took the spotlight on BBC Breakfast this week and later spoke with Nicky Campbell on BBC Radio 5 Live, shedding light on the rise in retail crime and shop theft,... Read more…

Dress shop crowned winner of Cambridge Christmas shop window competition.

18 Dec 2023

Dress shop Pocket Watch & Petticoats in Trinity Street has been crowned the winner in Cambridge BID’s Christmas window competition.
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Bira issues guide to protecting yourself against festive cyber scams

18 Dec 2023

In the age of online shopping, the pursuit of the best deals during the festive season is increasingly common. However, as consumers flock to virtual marketplaces, cybercriminals are seizing the... Read more…

Shoplifting now among the most common crime against small firms

18 Dec 2023

Fresh evidence about the increasing problem of thefts from shops has been revealed amid a warning that organised shoplifting is now among the most common type of crimes against small firms.
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Oldest record shop in Liverpool reopens with museum to celebrate city's musical heritage.

18 Dec 2023

One of the North West’s oldest record shops has reopened after 14 months, creating a small museum to pay tribute to its long-standing musical connections with the city.
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Indie jewellery retailer creates unique gold ‘Key Ring’ for new ITVX series

6 Dec 2023

Bristol and Cirencester-based bespoke fine jewellery retailer Titcombe Bespoke Jewellery, a member of the National Association of Jewellers, has received one of its most unusual commissions... Read more…

Family-owned butcher’s shop hopes 'Mary' will help Wigan families in need of food.

6 Dec 2023

Reynolds’ Butchers in Parbold, near Wigan, have set up a scheme called Mary’s Mince to help people living in the village.
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American Express Shop Small Highlights UK’s Top High Streets for Independent Shops

5 Dec 2023

Research commissioned by American Express Shop Small reveals the top 10 high streets for independent shops in the UK, shining a light on the nation’s small businesses that play... Read more…

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Mary Portas warns government to act now or see half of high street shops shut

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this week, retail expert Mary Portas called on the Government to rethink business rates and VAT to help struggling retailers.

She said: “Put simply we could lose half of all shops. We need to look at the systems they are currently working under, because they are not fit for purpose for the future.

Row of Bikes

“So VAT, business rates, all of it needs to be looked at. We need to look at the bigger picture and how people want, and need to live, in the future – for the good of themselves and the planet.”

In 2011, she published a report stating the aim was to “put the heart back into the centre of our high streets, calling on the authorities to re-imagine them “as destinations for socialising, culture, health, wellbeing, creativity and learning.” But she says nothing has changed in the past decade and without more support thousands of small shops will be lost during the cost-of-living crisis.

“It’s no different now to 11 years ago when I brought out my report,” she says. “As for big business and governments, people don’t trust them, they’ve had enough. We want what’s local, what’s safe and what we can trust.”

She added: “What’s inspiring, but at the same time frustrating, is everything I wrote in my report more than a decade ago, about how important high streets are to our society and our daily lives, is the same.

“They’re more important than what is being sold to us. People, particularly post-Covid, realise how important they are to their wellbeing and how they live. Having thriving high streets we can walk or cycle to for our daily needs is vital to our future.”

She praised “incredible independents” which make up 90% of high street businesses but admitted frustration because “all we talk about are big businesses”.

She said: “Small businesses have been hugely successful, and we need them to succeed. When it comes to budgets and government spending, I believe it needs to be about prioritising. And I happen to think we should prioritise the wellbeing of society.”

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