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25.09

Bira Legal offer expert advice in simple 5-part guide

Experts in Employment Law and HR are providing retailers with five simple and straightforward guides to key topics affecting independent retailers. The guides are provided by Ellis Whittam, the team of lawyers behind the Bira Legal service, to provide information and support to retail business owners and staff who are having difficulties in the common […]

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14.08

Mica joins as a new division of the British Independent Retailers Association

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), the UK’s largest trade association for independent retail stores, has today confirmed an investment in Mica, which will see the co-operative group join the association as a new division. Mica and it’s 50+ hardware, DIY and garden stores across the UK have longstanding reputation for fierce independence and excellent […]

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12.08

Exclusive Bira benchmarking index available to all Bira members – where do you rank?

The Bira index, which benchmarks the social media performance of all Bira members, has just been made available to all Bira members. As an exclusive benefit to Bira members, the Bira index helps our members benchmark their social media performance against all other Bira members, allowing all members to benefit and learn from each other. […]

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01.08

QSM Q2 2019 – Spring sales fail to shine

Sales were up for Cookshop & Housewares, Floor Coverings, Beds & Soft Furnishings and Books & Toys, Music, Computers/Telecoms independent retailers between April and June 2019, but all other sectors have seen a drop. The overall picture from Bira’s exclusive Quarterly Sales Monitor (QSM) for the second quarter of 2019 is one of disappointment, with […]

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01.08

Bira’s priorities for the new Prime Minister

Following Boris Johnson’s rise to Prime Minister, The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is challenging the Government to resolve some of the ongoing issues that are burdening independent businesses, in order to ensure the future of our high streets. We are urging the new Prime Minister to: Find a Brexit solution that works for independent […]

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28.05

2018 sees growth in independent stores across shopping centres as landlords look for diversity and unique occupiers to replace closing chains

Data released today (28th May) by the Local Data Company and the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) shows that 2018 saw growth in the number of independent stores in shopping centres, with 1,951 new openings leading to a net gain of +87 (+1.1%) compared to a net decline of -88 in 2017 (-1.1%). Independent retailers […]

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20.05

MPs take their enquiry into business rates to Birmingham to hear from independent retailers

The Rt Hon Nicky Morgan, MP (Chair of the Treasury Committee) alongside MPs Steve Baker, Alison McGovern and Clive Betts (Chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee) brought the Treasury Committee’s enquiry into business rates to Birmingham today, to speak to a number of independent retailers at the British Independent Retailers Association’s […]

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16.05

Offensive Weapons Act receives Royal Assent

New legislation paves the way for Knife Crime Prevention Orders   The Offensive Weapons Act has today (Thursday 16 May) received Royal Assent, bringing in tough new measures that strengthen law enforcement’s response to violent crime. The Act will make it illegal to possess dangerous weapons in private, including knuckledusters, zombie knives and death star […]

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09.05

QSM Q1 2019 – An encouraging start to the year

Sales were up for Cookshop & Housewares, Clothing & Footwear and Furniture, Floor Coverings, Beds and Soft Furnishings independent retailers between January and March 2019, whilst Health Store and Department Stores struggle. The overall picture from Bira’s exclusive Quarterly Sales Monitor (QSM) for the first quarter of 2019 is one of encouragement, with many of […]

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24.04

Remarkable Retailers: UK’s 14 most innovative independents announced

Vend and the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) launch ‘Remarkable Retailers’ campaign to champion innovation among independent stores. 14 businesses are selected from a long list of over 1,000 retailers nationally. Vend and the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) have today announced a campaign called ‘Remarkable Retailers’, which underlines 14 outstanding contributions to local high […]

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13.02

Don’t miss out on a rates reduction- take action now

Members could miss out on a reduction in their business rates if they don’t contact their local authority or council to find out how the reduction will be applied. Bira have become aware of a lack of uniformity in the way local authorities are implementing the hard-fought 30 percent discount for businesses with a rateable […]

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31.01

Home Secretary announces new police powers to tackle knife crime

Action to be taken against retailers found selling knives to children £500k funding for Trading Standards to prosecute retailers who repeatedly sell knives to under 18s New Knife Crime Prevention Orders will give police more powers to stop people carrying knives Further measures introduced to target early intervention with a new phase of #knifefree The […]

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16.01

Parliament votes down the Government’s Brexit deal

Last night we saw Parliament vote down the Government’s Brexit deal. MPs voted by 432 votes to 202 to reject the deal, which sets out the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU on 29 March. The response to this historic commons defeat is to have a no-confidence vote which nobody expects to succeed. Can politicians […]

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04.01

New music app set to save the high street £1,000s

New music app offers businesses great music without the need to purchase a music licence. On the 6th December music specialists Amazing Instore, the service providers behind bira music store launched their new app designed exclusively for businesses that want great background music without the need to purchase a music licence. Specialists in providing music to […]

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16.11

Stars: Underlines 2018 – the winners revealed

Renowned cabaret destination, Café de Paris, was the spectacular venue for the 10th edition of Stars: Underlines Best Shop Awards. 300 guests from the intimate apparel, swimwear and legwear industries met for a star-studded evening, sponsored by LYCRA® fibre, celebrating 60 years in 2018 and hosted by leading b2b publication, Underlines Magazine. The 2018 event […]

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01.11

Government introduces tough new measures to prevent acid attacks

Retailers encouraged to sign up to Voluntary Agreement to support the fight against these crimes As the Government introduces tough new measures to prevent acid attacks, including a two year sentence for anyone caught carrying sulphuric acid above 15% concentration without a licence, it is important for independent retailers who stock and sell such products […]

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29.10

Welcome news for the high street as Government announces rates reduction

It is welcome news for the high street that the Government is going to reduce business rates by up to a third for businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or below.  The current threshold of £12,000 only helps the smallest of shops, so this will make a real difference. As the Chancellor, Philip Hammond […]

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25.10

Member Vin Vara speaks up about high street challenges on BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire

Vin Vara, bira member and Owner of the Toolshop, joined Kate Ancketill, retail expert and Founder of GDR Creative intelligence and Dr Helen Watts, Consumer Psychologist at Worcester University to discuss challenges in retail after Debenhams announced it will be closing up to 50 shops. Topics covered on BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire Show included high […]

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10.10

The fight continues as the House of Commons debate bira’s Business Rates Proposal

This week, independent retailing champion Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP took bira’s proposal for a £12,000 allowance for small businesses, instead of the current threshold to the House of Commons for an Adjournment Debate answered by Mel Stride MP – the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General. This vital debate for independent retailers focused […]

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19.10

Changes to HSBC and Global Payments crediting timescales

MEMBERS WHO BANK with HSBC and receive next-day cleared funds will have received a letter recently explain-ing changes to their next-day crediting scheme. Transactions will now appear at 11am the next day, rather than 9am, which is the current arrangement. Those members who bank with HSBC but are not on next-day cleared funds will have […]

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12.09

bira takes its business rates proposal to the Houses of Parliament

bira presented its plan for business rates reform to MPs at the Houses of Parliament this week. bira asked MPs to consider changing the current £12,000 threshold to an allowance, as a much-needed short-term solution. It is bira’s belief that an allowance would help the majority of small retail businesses and make the difference between […]

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29.08

bira names Andrew Goodacre as new CEO

The British Independent Retailers Association (bira) has appointed Andrew Goodacre, formally of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) as its new CEO. Andrew will replace Alan Hawkins, who retires after 33 years with bira. Andrew Goodacre comes with a wealth of experience within the membership organisation sector, having held the role of CEO at the RLA […]

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19.07

No new tribunals for bira members in 2018

Things are always changing in the field of employment law; shifting rules, regulations and standards can often leave employers feeling confused and frustrated which can lead to costly mistakes for those who don’t take professional legal advice, with one outcome being taken to tribunals. One of the biggest changes in recent years was the decision […]

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20.06

Sorbon Estates partnership supports independent tenants

The British Independent Retailers Association (bira) has partnered with  Beaconsfield-based commercial property owner, asset-manager and developer Sorbon Estates to support indie retailers in a changing and often challenging, retail landscape. Sorbon is offering a year’s free bira membership to its independent retailer tenants across the South East. The membership service provides a wealth of business benefits […]

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14.05

Independent retail talent celebrated at the bira conference and awards

The very best independent retail talent celebrated at bira’s national conference and awards The British Independent Retailers Association’s (bira) national conference and gala awards dinner took place at the Jurys Inn, Hinckley Island, Leicestershire on Thursday 10th May 2018. The annual event showcases the very best of the independent retail industry, as well as those […]

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08.01

Retailers and academics join Government effort to tackle acid attacks

Some of the country’s largest retailers and independent business leaders have pledged not to sell the most harmful corrosive substances to under 18s, as part of a series of voluntary commitments proposed by the Government to help limit acid attacks. Waitrose, B&Q, Morrisons, Wickes, Co-op, Screwfix and Tesco are among the major brands to sign […]

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28.11

National Home Improvement Week – Time for retailers to get on board

Following a fantastic turn out in terms of the UK’s tops home and garden improvement supplier brands, Paul Grinsell, home improvement director of the British Home Improvement Trade Association (BHETA) says it’s time for industry retailers to get involved in National Home Improvement Week.     The new consumer marketing initiative for 12th to 18th March […]

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23.11

bira’s response to the budget

In response to the Chancellor’s budget yesterday; bira welcomes some of the practical details such as boosting the housing market by house building, investing in technology and reducing the stamp duty to first time buyers. All of which should feed into greater retail spending in due course. However, perhaps the most worrying part of the […]

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15.09

Business Rates: From bricks and mortar to a tax for the digital age

Nearly six months after the introduction of a new business rates regime Mark Radford reviews progress to date. Back in the heady days of Spring 2014 in recognition of the damage caused to the economy by high rate bills, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne famously described the business rate system as ‘not fit […]

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12.09

Downing Street meeting

Business rates were on the top of the agenda when bira visited Downing Street on 23rd August 2017. bira met with Jimmy McLoughlin, who was previous deputy head of policy and head of external relations at the IoD before he moved to his special adviser role at number 10.  This allowed bira to discuss the nub […]

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12.04

Increase the Digital Influence of your business with #WDYT

Growing digital channels can help boost the high street in UK towns, according to the Digital Influence Index compiled by #WDYT. ‘Digital influence’ is the ability of any town or city to drive measurable outcomes from online channels to their high street. The campaign encourages retailers and shoppers to share a photo each day of […]

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20.04

bira lays out key priorities for independent retailers ahead of the general election

At 5pm on 19th April 2017, MPs approved Theresa May’s decision to call a snap election on 8th June 2017, by a majority of 509 votes.  With this in mind, the British Independent Retailers Association (bira) looks forward to all parties setting out their manifesto pledges in the days to come, and hopes that all […]

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20.03

Inheritance tax risk from Govt pension fund

Those on Government-backed pension scheme, Nest, could be hit by taxes of up to 40%.  NEST’s maximum contribution cap will be lifted in April this year, allowing members to contribute the full annual allowance of £40,000pa. In addition, NEST will also open its doors for the first time to transfers in with a 0.3% annual charge. […]

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16.03

Philip Hammond announces full U-turn on National Insurance hike for self-employed workers.

Yesterday, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a significant u-turn on the Government’s plan to hike National Insurance Contributions for the self-employed. A budget decision that was yet another blow to independent retailers up and down the country who own their own business. Mr Hammond wrote a letter to his party’s MPs saying that following a backlash […]

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08.03

bira believes that the Chancellor’s Budget does not deal with the fact that business rates are fundamentally unfair.

The Chancellor has taken some responsibility in acknowledging that there is a problem by providing some relief for small businesses.  However, considering that the same re-evaluation has reduced the average bill for Amazon’s nine distribution centres by an average of 1.3% or £147,632 , it is scant consolation for small businesses that no longer qualify for […]

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06.03

UK’s independent retailers urge Hammond to listen to their solution to business rates reform, ahead of this week’s Budget

The long-delayed revaluation to business rates coming into effect on 1st April threatens the future of thousands of small retail businesses across the UK. This comes at the worst possible time with business uncertainty due to Brexit, National Living Wage and the depreciation of the pound, all affecting small retail businesses. The national association representing […]

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24.02

Business Secretary and Ministers hold meeting with leading retailers

Alan Hawkins, bira CEO attended a vital High Level Retail Roundtable meeting with the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, along with Margot James MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Corporate Responsibility on 22 February.  Jane Ellison, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, was also in […]

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20.02

The Great Rate Debate goes on– bira amongst businesses fighting for complete reform

The headlines have been filled with news this week about the mounting pressure being put on the Government to reform the damaging business rates system. The British Retail Consortium, of which bira is a member, is among the signatories of a letter submitted to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, challenging the intended new appeals process […]

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09.01

Shop prices show first signs of upward trend

Figures released by the British Retail Consortium found an easing of shop price deflation in December. Overall shop prices reported deflation of 1.4% in December, a deceleration from the 1.7% fall in the previous two months. Non-food deflation decelerated to 1.9%, down from 2.3% in the previous month. This is the weakest deflation rate since […]

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02.12

Voicemail is costing independent retailers’ trade

Britain’s independent retailers are missing out on work because they are failing to answer their phone calls, and are instead letting them go through to voicemail. This means they are losing business at an early stage, as the majority of callers refuse to leave voicemail messages, according to new research. 69% of callers don’t leave […]

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