Fashion indies had a tough end to the year last year as sales for the fourth quarter dropped 1.9%.
According to the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), more than a half of all indies (55.16%) are anxious about the year ahead while 43.65% are reasonably confident, Just over 1% said they were very confident.
The Midlands saw the greatest drop, with sales decreasing by 5.84% year-on-year, while sales at Welsh indies fell by 4.24%.
East Anglia was the only region to deliver an upturn with sales rising 2.16% compared with the last quarter of 2012.
Despite the drop in sales, fashion indies outperformed the wider independent market, with sales dropping 2.5% in the three months to December 31.
Bira deputy chief executive Michael Weedon said: “There is no room for complacency. There is no room for a further racking up of business rates in April or to delay the rates revaluation for 2015 - it will just extend the pain. There is no reason to further harm a sector which, in the independenHe saw off competition from Roksanda Ilincic, Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto and Emilia Wickstead to win the award.t side alone employs well over a million people.”