Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

BSSA lobbies government on indie decline

The British Shops and Stores Association is calling upon the government to implement urgent action to save the UK's small retailers on the back of a Tory strategy document around small shops on the high street which is due to be unveiled today.

BSSA chief executive John Dean said he welcomed the Tories recommendations but was worried that it would be too late to implement them unless the current Labour government acted quickly.

Dean said: "We are losing independent retailers every day and cannot afford to wait until the Conservatives can implement their strategy."

Dean, who was one of the 12 Commission members to carry out the research added: "Small is not beautiful for today's retailer – whether it is endeavouring to set up a new business or merely maintain a viable one. Start up costs are draconian and effects of legislation and crime can be disproportionate, making survival of even the best run business a challenge."

Dean outlined some immediate changes the present government could take to alleviate the stresses facing independent retailers.

He said: "National government can influence the two key overheads of any retailing business – wage rates and property costs. There is a definite need to review the formula for setting the National Minimum Wage and for the threshold of Small Business Rate Relief to be raised for the single shop occupant located in the high rental zone of the high street."

The Conservative party will unveil its strategy later today but Dean said of the report: "There are many excellent initiatives, in the areas of town improvements and crime reduction, but they lack a cohesive local direction – it is hoped the proposed community hub enterprise area will address this shortfall but the risk is that a lot of people all pulling in different directions could reduce the overall benefits."

For more on the report see next week's issue of Drapers magazine. Click here to subscribe.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.