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BSSA says indies feeling worst of the downturn

The British Shops and Stores Association's sales monitor showed that independent retailers are suffering the effects of the retail slowdown to a greater extent than multiples, with like-for-like sales down 1.83% for the three months ended June.

However, the BSSA sales monitor said that fashion independents were outperforming the rest of the market with like-for-like sales ahead 0.1% for the quarter.

The BSSA added that non-food independents in Scotland and London and the south east were the only regions to show positive like-for-like growth over the quarter. Indies in the north west reported a 7% decline in sales.

In addition, independent department stores reported that performance had dipped by 5.5% over the quarter.

BSSA chief executive John Dean said: "The sales monitor shows clear evidence that independent retailers are feeling the effects of the downturn to a greater degree than multiples with three month like-for-like sales down 1.83% compared with a BRC figure of down 0.03% for the same quarter last year."

Dean added: "It is of great concern that overall performance year to date is adverse by 1.7% compared with last year. Superimpose above inflation increases in overheads and one can see the pressures many independent retailers face."

The BSSA sales monitor takes in data from non-food independent retailers around the country. Both members of the BSSA and non-members are invited to take part in the online survey and participants are given full access to the results for free. The BSSA sales monitor is the only one of its kind which focuses on how independent retailers are trading.

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