Nearly half of all indies have failed to prepare for unexpected disruptions to their key Christmas trading period.
According to a survey of 100 small retailers found that 47% were unprepared for bad weather - despite two-thirds saying they were worried about its impact on their business.
The study, carried out by insurance company RSA, suggests almost a quarter of indies have not updated their business continuity plans since last Christmas, with a further quarter admitting they had no plan at all. Business continuity plans detail what to do in an emergency, so that each member of the team knows what practical action they should take.
Yet 31% of respondents said they were relying on the Christmas period to boost trade following subdued summer sales.
“SMEs in the retail sector have been planning all year for a Christmas sales boost, and many are reliant on it for survival, but failing to prepare for business interruption could quickly undo all their hard work,” said Tara Kneafsey, RSA’s director of SMEs.