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Indie trading stabilising says BSSA

Independent retailers saw sales fall back 2.2% in the second quarter but the British Shops and Stores Association (BSSA) said that there were some signs that business was stabilising.

The BSSA said that sales had finished down 2.1% over the first half and that business confidence had improved slightly. Of those surveyed 55% said they were confident about business over the next 12 months, up from 52% at the end of the previous quarter.

Independents that stock accessories were among those businesses to see an upturn in sales over the quarter.

BSSA chief executive John Dean said: “There is little doubt that consumers are being very cautious in their discretionary spending and this will continue to be the case whilst the future of the economy remains uncertain and unemployment continues to rise.”

However the BSSA warned that its independent retailer members still faced uncertain times because of the impending rise in VAT to 17.5% in January on top of low consumer confidence.

The BSSA has more than 3,500 members, which have a combined turnover of £2.6 billion and a combined 5,000 stores employing some 37,000 staff. All are all non-food independent retailers.

Does the BSSA sales monitor match up with your trading experience of the last quarter? Vote in our poll or post your comments in the box below.

Readers' comments (2)

  • I find this a strange conclusion as my store and the other independent retailers I talk to have all had a pretty tough month. High street Sales have really hit my business as I just can't compete with those levels of discounting. I am hoping that autumn will start more positively. I am nearly through the end of my Sale now.

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  • Business has been tough but it isn't all negative. What I sense is a slight shift in attitude from my customers. No, they aren't spending like they once did but nor are they completely frozen with fear about the banking crisis. I am hoping beyond hope that this means autumn will turn out to be ok - that's ok not good. I also think that shoppers will want to spend this Christmas to cheer themselves up.

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