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Study reveals Apple Pay and contactless payments have overtaken cash payments as favourite ways to pay in-store.

8 Feb 2024

New research reveals that Apple Pay and contactless payments have overtaken cash payments by a landslide as our favourite ways to pay in-store.
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Fed expresses alarm at ‘runaway’ shoplifting incidents.

5 Feb 2024

The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) has expressed alarm at new figures that show shoplifting at its highest level in 20 years.
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Hunstanton deli launches new West Norfolk food and drink festival.

5 Feb 2024

A brand-new festival is being launched next month is “all about community and breathing life into the High Street”, according to Mark Kacary, managing director of The Norfolk Deli in... Read more…

Retailers react to disposable vape ban.

5 Feb 2024

The retail sector has been responding to government plans to ban disposable vapes as part of plans to tackle the rise in youth vaping.
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UK’s indie food retailers to be recognised in the Farm Shop and Deli Retailer Awards 2024.

23 Jan 2024

Bakers, butchers, cheesemongers, delicatessens, fishmongers, greengrocers, village stores and small farm shops from around the UK have been shortlisted in the Farm Shop and Deli Retailer Awards... Read more…

How Independent Retailers Can Stand Out in A Crowded Market

23 Jan 2024

An interesting article has appeared in Forbes reflecting many of the issues that Indie Retail & ActSmart members will be experiencing – the challenges and... Read more…

Eight in Ten Small Businesses Taking Positive Steps to Strengthen Their Enterprises in 2024

22 Jan 2024

Eight in ten small business owners (81%) are planning to develop their companies in 2024, according to new research from Novuna Business Finance. The research shows that over a third (33%) are... Read more…

The Times names 12 of the UK’s best independent bookshops — as chosen by its readers.

22 Jan 2024

The Times has named 12 of the UK’s best independent bookshops — as chosen by its readers. Readers highlighted places that combined books with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.... Read more…

Bira Launches Second Annual Campaign for Valentine's Day - #LoveYourHighStreet

22 Jan 2024

The British Independent Retailers Association is championing the high street again this Valentine's Day for the second consecutive year with its #LoveYourHighStreet campaign.
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Family-run shop in Lanarkshire village scoops community retailer award for second year running.

10 Jan 2024

Nads Store, a family-run shop in Law, Lanarkshire, has been named Community Retailer of the Year at the Scottish Asian and Business Awards ceremony for the second year running.
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Independent Retailers Association warns of difficult year ahead.

Posted on in Business News

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.

Andrew Goodacre

Bira, which works with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, said they were expecting more challenges coming up in the coming months - and urged businesses to prioritise resilience and adaptability.

Andrew Goodacre, CEO of Bira said: While optimism usually accompanies a new year, we anticipate 2024 to be another challenging period given the prevailing pessimism in economic growth.

"We expect inflation to stabilise, and interest rates to remain where they are. Economic stability is crucial for us to focus on economic recovery. Bira recognises the need for a stable economic environment to empower its members and foster a climate conducive to business growth," he said.

Mr Goodacre added that consumer confidence also remained key. He said: "Consumers will still lack confidence and will be looking for value and strong brands. We are committed to supporting our members in meeting evolving consumer preferences, ensuring they remain competitive in the market."

Contrary to the digital trend, Mr Goodacre said they had noticed a surprising shift, adding, "The penetration of internet shopping declined in 2023, and we do not expect it to increase in 2024 – most people will want to buy in shops. This insight underscores the enduring importance of brick-and-mortar stores in the retail landscape."

Bira also urged shops to not overlook other important opportunities.

"The older generation represents a real business opportunity – higher levels of wealth and disposable income. We ask that retailers recognise the potential of this demographic, and not to ignore the often-retired generation's significant purchasing power," he said.

Looking locally, Mr Goodacre said there were many opportunities in community collaboration. He added:  "Other opportunities will still be local shopping and business communities working together to create a vibrant, diverse high street that people want to visit and where they want to spend time and money." 

Mr Goodacre added that the political landscape also would have a huge effect on 2024. He said: "We will obviously have a general election, and while many may welcome a change of government, it will lead to a period of instability." 

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