It’s no secret that UK retailers, and particularly smaller, independent businesses, need all the help they can get. High street footfall has dramatically declined in recent years, consumer confidence is low, household budgets are under more pressure than ever before. Research produced by bira (British Independent Retailers Association) in partnership with O2 showed that 16% of all independent retailers fear they will not survive 2013 if things don’t improve. In the recent budget the chancellor ignored 1000s of signatures on a “Fair Rates for Retail” petition, put together by BRC (British Retail Consortium) and Retail Week, ploughing on with a business rates rise that will cost the struggling retail sector an additional £175 million in taxation on top of the 2012 rates increase, the highest in over 20 years, that drained £375 million out the sector…
If Independent Retailers decrease in number high street vacancy rates will dramatically increase
The Local Data Company published findings in early 2013 that showed that Independent Retailer numbers declined in the 2nd half of 2012, for the first time in 2 years. The loss of more shops from our high streets and village centres is a very real risk. If something isn’t done to help re-connect local consumers with local businesses, to bring them, and their spending, back, it is forecast that the UK high street vacancy rate could climb from the current average of c. 14% to an alarmingly high 17%.
Support for Independent Retail campaign
Campaigns such Support for Independent Retail can educate consumers, helping them to understand the positive impact that their custom can have on local traders. It is the responsibility of all small business owners to support their community. Together we can kick-start the process of changing people’s shopping habits, reminding people that they stand to lose many fantastic shops in their area if they never visit them and never spend with them.
The value of your £1 when spent with local, independent businesses
FSB, in partnership with CLES, proved that your £1 spent locally is worth 10 times more to your local economy than when it is spent out of town or with an online giant, so, before you turn to Amazon or head to Tesco out of habit, stop, think, how could you make a difference by spending your cash with local, independent businesses? Make the Indie Retail pledge – see http://retailchampion.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/support-for-independent-retail/