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20.11

Conservatives listen to retailers in pledge to cut business rates

Bira welcomes the Conservatives proposal to support our high streets if they are re-elected. After a three-year campaign, Bira is pleased to see a significant reduction in rates proposed and a fundamental review of rates. Bira has been working with the Government over that past three years to offer a solution to the outdated and […]

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07.11

Bristol deli Papadeli named Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2019

A Bristol-based deli with a reputation for incredible cakes and superb takeaway dishes, cooked on site, has been named as Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2019. Papadeli stocks a selection of foods from local producers and further across Europe and claims one of the best cheese counters in the city. Also on offer is the […]

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04.11

Independent retailers respond to the findings of the government’s inquiry into business rates

Bira welcomes the results of the government’s inquiry into business rates, but is disappointed with the recommendations for reform. The report is clear about the current business rates system needing reform by removing complexities, incentivising investment and changing the Check Challenge Appeal process, which Bira agrees with. Andrew Goodacre, CEO of Bira, said: “It is […]

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24.10

Wages Survey reveals retailer confidence is at a three-year low

Bira’s business confidence barometer, which forms part of Bira’s annual Wages Survey showed 50.8% of retailers are feeling anxious, which is significantly higher than in 2018 (40.83%). The number of retailers feeling very confident showed a decline too, with only 7.1% feeling very confident, which is down on 2018 and 2017 (8.28% and 12.5%). The […]

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03.10

The Excellence in Housewares Awards 2019 Winners Announced

Bira members amongst the winners at the 2019 Excellence in Housewares Awards Organised by Progressive Housewares magazine in conjunction with Bira, the Awards night took place at the Royal Lancaster London where nearly 400 movers and shakers of the housewares industry gathered to celebrate into the early hours. Awards host was popular televised comedian Stuart […]

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27.09

Xmas appeal by RDT charity

Got any excess stock you don’t need? Why not donate it to trade charity Rainy Day Trust to help its annual Christmas appeal? Or perhaps you can put an RDT collecting tin by your till for customers to chip in? Every year the charity sends out a hand-written Christmas card and a little food hamper […]

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11.09

Calls for Andrea Leadsom to provide clarity on what Brexit means for the workforce

Bira has joined a number of associations, writing to Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, calling for greater clarity on what Brexit will mean for the UK workforce.   With many independent businesses, both within Bira’s membership and also the British Agricultural Garden Machinery Association’s (BAGMA) relying heavily on foreign […]

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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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18.07

Employee claims rise for the second year running

The latest round of Employee Tribunal statistics has now been released – giving employers a full year picture to compare against the year prior. Broadly speaking, the findings are as expected, with the overall claims trajectory continuing in much the same way as it has been since employee tribunal fees were abolished back in 2017. […]

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04.07

£1million given to Councils for knife test purchasing

The Offensive Weapons Act has now received Royal Assent, which means it shouldn’t be long before it is law. With the Local Government Association (LGA) saying that in some areas 60% of shops are selling knives illegally, it is time for retailers to sharpen up their policies and staff training. The government has given £1million […]

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27.06

Meet your new National President

Howard Pullen of Howard Pullen Machinery in Loxwood, West Sussex succeeded Surinder Josan of All Seasons DIY, in Smethwick, West Midlands, as Bira National President at the Bira AGM on the 20th June. Howard is the second member of the British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA), which is a part of the Bira family, […]

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05.06

BRC figures show retail sales slump but what does this mean for the independents?

Figures released by the British Retail Consortium today show a 2.7% slump in retail sales, the biggest dip in 24 years. In response, Andrew Goodacre CEO of the British Independent Retail Association, Bira said: “The disappointing figures reported by the BRC are reflective of the challenging times retail faces as a whole. We saw encouraging […]

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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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10.05

Independent retailer exceeds previous years’ annual online turnover in just one month!

It’s been another disappointing year for the high street, but there has been some very good news for one independent retailer. Sarah at Artichoke has seen her profits soar, despite the declining footfall, and recounts how in just one month she exceeded her previous year’s entire online annual turnover! These are huge statistics and Sarah […]

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07.05

Over 275 brands to be seen at Exclusively 2019

Momentum is building for the 2019 Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical. It’s the housewares show not to be missed. There’s an outstanding show lined up with 32 fantastic new exhibitors bringing the show total to 149 exhibitors. The myriad of exciting new exhibitors will bring a fresh dynamic to the show and are sure to […]

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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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30.04

Treasury Committee brings its Business Rates inquiry to Birmingham to hear from independent retailers

The Treasury Committee together with the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) are hosting an event about Business Rates and the effect they have on independent retailers and our high streets, on the 20th May. The event will bring together a number of business associations, businesses of all sizes, sole traders, as well as the committee members, […]

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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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08.04

Scarlet Opus @ the Exclusively Shows

Trend consultancy Scarlet Opus will once again be on hand at Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical to provide an invaluable insight in to trends which will influence the homewares sector over the next few seasons. Scarlet Opus provide in-depth predictions about the future wants needs & desires of consumers; how people will be living and […]

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21.03

ONS reports encouraging retail sales figures but it isn’t a time to feel confident

Following the year on year 4% rise in retail sales reported by the Office of National Statistics today, Andrew Goodacre, CEO of the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), says: “The positive results for retail sales growth in February are encouraging and will certainly be a help to many struggling retailers. The surprising warmer weather will have […]

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20.03

Bira and BHETA tussle it out on the turf

The British Independent Retailers Association and the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) will come together again to present a friendly but competitive networking, business and social occasion in the calendar by way of the fourth ‘Tussle on the Turf’ golf tournament. The event is to be held on Wednesday 17th July in Stratford-upon-Avon at […]

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14.03

Government focused on implementing Making Tax Digital

In his Spring Statement 2019 speech, the Chancellor reinforced that the mandatory digital record keeping for businesses with annual revenues above the VAT threshold (£85,000) will come into force from 1st April 2019. Philip Hammond called this an “important first step in this modernisation of the tax system to which the Government remains committed”. Making Tax Digital (MTD) […]

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26.02

Cyber Aware #LifeUpdates campaign launches

The Cyber Aware #LifeUpdates campaign launches on the 27th February. The campaign aims to encourage people to act on the simple tasks we all put off doing. Cyber Aware (formerly Cyber Streetwise) aims to drive behaviour change amongst small businesses and individuals so that they adopt simple secure online behaviours to help protect themselves from […]

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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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30.01

Pet shops protest at strict new rules

Bira has made representations to DEFRA to voice the concerns of pet shop owners who are critical of new regulations that came into force on 1 October 2018. The new Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) regulations replace several laws dating back to 1925. Now any business in England selling live animals or boarding cats or dogs […]

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28.01

Sell online the easy way with New River

A new online marketplace for small independent retailers, As Seen On The High Street, which is linked to a national network of pop-up shops, has been set up by NewRiver REIT, a specialist retail & leisure property. The site, asseenonthehighstreet.co.uk, allows independent businesses to sell online without the hassle of setting up their own website. […]

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24.01

QSM Q4 2018: Christmas period boosts trading – for some

Sales were up for Gifts, Glass, China, Jewellery, Accessories and Luggage, Cookshop & Housewares and Health Store retailers during October – December, whilst Cards, Stationery, Cards and Hobbies struggle. The overall picture from Bira’s exclusive Quarterly Sales Monitor (QSM) for the fourth quarter of 2018 is one of disappointment, with many of the figures showing […]

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17.01

Reducing the card security burden

The aim is to ensure every company that accepts, processes, holds or transmits card information does so in a safe and secure manner. One of the best ways to do this is literally to reduce or remove the data that you store and limit the number of systems involved in the processing of card data. […]

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21.01

Retailing still is attracting new entrants despite the new pressures

SOME 15,340 INDEPENDENT shops were opened across Great Britain in the first half of 2018, but the overall number operating fell by 1,554 because 16,894 pulled down the shutters. The ongoing volatility in the sector is revealed by the latest research from The Local Data Company (LDC) and Bira. It also showed that multiple retailers […]

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17.01

Mental Health First Aid in the workplace debate date set

Following the open letter to the Prime Minister regarding an amendment to the Health and Safety in the workplace regulation, a parliamentary debate on mental health first aid in the workplace has been scheduled for Thursday 17th January. The Backbench Business debate is sponsored by a cross party trio of MPs Luciana Berger MP (Lab), […]

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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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30.11

Independent retail hit by a loss of -1,554 units in first six months of 2018

Data released today by the British Independent Retailers Association (bira) and the Local Data Company (LDC) shows that independent retailers opened significantly more shops in H1 2018 than in the same period last year. However, a record number of stores were closed over the same period. This resulted in a total decline of -1,554 shops (-0.5%) – a significant […]

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30.11

HMRC writes to firms ahead of Making Tax Digital for VAT

Ahead of the rolling out of Making Tax Digital for VAT in April 2019, HM Revenue and Customs has started writing to select businesses eligible to join the Making Tax Digital for VAT pilot The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has revealed that an initial 20,000 letters have been distributed to firms eligible to join […]

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21.11

Budget 2018 provides clarity for Making Tax Digital VAT threshold

Chancellor Philip Hammond used his Budget 2018 speech to offer clarity to the UK’s army of small businesses regarding the upcoming implementation of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT returns. From 1st April 2019, small businesses with a taxable turnover exceeding the VAT registration threshold will be required to file digital VAT records via MTD-compatible […]

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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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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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12.10

Have the largest retailers given up on shop theft?

ANTI-SHOP THEFT CAMPAIGNER Neil Mackay is urging bira, through its membership of the British Retail Consortium, to keep up the pressure on large retailers to report stealing from stores to the police. He believes statistics surrounding shop theft are very inaccurate as many retailers no longer bother to report incidences of stealing, largely because police […]

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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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14.09

Entrepreneur Award celebrates independent businesses at Everywoman in Retail Awards 2018

On Thursday 13th September, hundreds of retail business leaders gathered at East Wintergarden in London to celebrate the winners of the 2018 Barclaycard Everywoman in Retail Awards. Amongst other inspirational award categories was the Entrepreneur Award, which celebrates owners/operators of a retail business that has been operating for 12 months or more, whose vision has […]

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13.09

BLE confirms Nadiya Hussain for Live Q&A, Plus Masterchef winner Kenny Tutt and Guiness Sommelier Ian Locgan in BLE Kitch as part of F&B theme

Guinness, Endemol Shine Group and Brotmeister to host live demos in new BLE kitchen Three Brands & Lifestyle Theatre sessions chart journey of F&B licensing More than 50 F&B brands and personalities represented at the show TV chef, author and presenter Nadiya Hussain will take part in a live Q&A at Brand Licensing Europe as […]

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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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10.09

Members shortlisted for the housewares Oscars

The expertise of bira members across the country has been recognised in the shortlist for The Excellence in Housewares Awards, which has been celebrating UK retailers, products and suppliers for 18 years. Among the finalists from the bira community this year are: Abraxas (Weedon, Northants); Art of Living (Reigate); Bakers & Larners of Holt (Norfolk); […]

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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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04.07

bira celebrates Independents’ Day

The British Independent Retailers Association (bira) celebrated this year’s Independents’ Day on 4th July, the best way they know how – with cake! The national event, which encourages shoppers to visit their local retailers, was celebrated up and down the country with special events, offers and discounts. Independents’ Day UK is a not-for-profit campaign that […]

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21.06

Government introduces new offensive weapons bill to tackle serious violence

Home Office takes action with new Offensive Weapons Bill with a series of measures designed to crack down on the possession and sale of dangerous weapons. Measures include stopping delivery of knives and corrosives bought online to residential addresses and banning sale of most dangerous corrosive products to under-18s. The Home Secretary introduced new legislation […]

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23.04

Increase in the number of independent openings subdued by a rise in closures across GB

Data released today by The Local Data Company (LDC) and British Independent Retailers Association (bira) shows that there has been a decrease in the number of traditional independent shops compared to the same period last year, along with a fall in the number of national chains. The independent sector saw a decrease of -1,483 shops […]

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