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Indie sales slip 4.7% in Q1

Clothing and footwear indies saw a 4.7% drop in sales in the first quarter of 2011, accelerating the decline seen over the last 12 months.

According to new figures from independent retailers’ trade association British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), which was recently renamed from BHF-BSSA, clothing and footwear indies saw an average decline of 2.8% over the full year to March 31.

However, the some parts of the country still achieved modest growth. Independent retailers in the South West and East Anglia grew sales by 0.5% on average whilst Scotland saw an increase of 2.8%.

All other regions had declines. The Midlands and Wales were the worst hit regions, with average like for likes down 6.4% and 6.2% respectively.

Across all sectors 56% of the 271 retailers surveyed reported a lower performance for the three months whereas 44% reported a higher performance.

Many indies remained cautious about the outlook with 52% saying they were anxious about the year ahead. Conversely 42% said they were reasonably confident and 6% very confident.  

Readers' comments (1)

  • Statistics, statistics, dam..d statistics!!!!!!! From what I hear, good indie retailers with the right product are doing much better than they were, irrespective of their location - so, whilst the Bira's report is "interesting", for each indie retailer, it's their own performance that counts for them and long may that be the case!! The more "interesting" statistic would have been which tier level of indie retailer by price was improving and which level was in decline. I expect that indies that compete with the "high street" may be the ones in decline whereas others, that offer "something special, be that product or service, might be seeing improving sales. Either way, it's good to have organisations such as the Bira to provide us with information, even though I continue to have great scepticism as to any statistic!!

    Glynn Alwyn-Jones.
    The International Fashion Federation.

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