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26.01

Listen again to Bira members talk to BBC Radio 4

Bira members from Tenby, Wales, appeared on BBC Radio 4’s consumer programme You and Yours this week. Katherine John of Morris Brothers department store, and Kate Davies of Jago, a clothing retailer, spoke to journalist Samantha Fenwick, about the indie scene in Tenby – a town where 75% of shops are independently owned. The report […]

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13.01

Bira member named one of UK’s most inspirational female entrepreneurs

A Bira member has been named as one of the UK’s most inspirational female entrepreneurs. Mandy Errington, who runs DJV Boutique in Ipswich, has made the top 100 in the Small Business Britain’s f:Entrepreneur ‘#ialso100’ campaign. Mandy founded DJV Boutique in 2012, a popular independent fashion outlet selling inspirational fashion lines, bags and accessories both […]

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08.04

Obituary: Rory McCann

Mr McCann, a member of Bira’s West Sussex Branch, passed away a week last Friday (March 27). He had been a member of the BHF since his teenage years. Mr McCann joined Gardner and Scardifield – primarily a builders’ merchant, ironmonger and electrical wholesaler – 45 years ago when it had just one premises in […]

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07.01

Bira calls on government to make baby goods stores ‘essential’

Bira is calling on the Government to make shops selling baby goods ‘essential’. Retailers selling predominantly baby goods are currently deemed ‘non-essential’ in England, and are required to close in the latest national lockdown. This is despite it being against the law for a newborn to leave hospital without a car seat – a fact recognised in […]

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15.12

Voting for the Bira Direct Christmas Display shortlist is now open!

Entries for the Bira Direct Christmas display competition has now closed, but now voting begins to find the best festive display from an independent retailer. Jeff Moody Managing Director of Bira Direct says “Thank you to all members that have entered the festive display competition, the quality of entries has been outstanding. We’ve had entries […]

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10.12

Excellence in Housewares Award Winners 2020

Celebrating the winners of The Excellence in Housewares Awards 2020 Organised by Progressive Housewares magazine and sponsored by Bira, the Excellence in Housewares awards took place virtually for the first time on December 9, which brought together 100s of members of the housewares industry from around the UK and across the globe. The awards were […]

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10.12

Bira member Wild Oats marks 40th anniversary

Bira member Wild Oats – Bristol’s oldest independent health store – has celebrated its 40th anniversary. Here, owner Mike Abrahams shares his journey to the landmark birthday. In late 1979 Mike and his Dutch girlfriend Loes were both working at the European Space Technology Centre in Noordwijk. A desire to make a living in a […]

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03.12

Global Payments support Bira members over recent months

Global Payments, providers of the card processing service for Bira members, have shown support for Bira members over the last few months. The support has included the suspension of the minimum monthly activity fee, a charge all card providers will implement when minimum spends are not met. Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO says: “We’re delighted the […]

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30.11

Bira Direct Christmas Competition Off to a Jolly Start

Despite launching during the second national lockdown, the Bira Direct Christmas Display competition has got off to a cracking start. The competition aims to find the best Christmas display from an independent retail business. This can be a traditional shop window display or a display area. Bira Direct would like to thank everyone who has […]

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27.11

Christmas will be a cracker in Ludlow thanks to Bira member

What a cracking idea! Bira member Bodenhams has joined forces with other local businesses to spread festive cheer this Christmas. The lifestyle store, run by Roger and Monika Curry, has worked with other businesses in Ludlow to produce Together We Shine – a promotional video capturing the spirit of the market town – just in […]

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26.11

Bira members are top of the shops!

Two Bira members won awards in Britain’s Best Small Shop competition. Small Stuff UK in Crookes, Sheffield, and Nourish in Topsham, Exeter, won best innovator during Covid, and runner-up shop of the year, respectively. The top prize was won by Cornucopia, a family run, independent, home and gift shop in Worcester. Cornucopia, whose ethos is […]

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22.11

List your business for free on a national newspaper website

We know how difficult trade is for many of you right now, and we are always working hard to provide you with new opportunities to promote your business and grow your customer base. This week, the Daily Mirror and 35 of its regional titles across England and Wales are launching In Your Area – a […]

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23.05

Can you be a Rainy Day Trust volunteer?

The Rainy Day Trust is here to help people who work or have worked in the housewares, DIY and garden centre industries.  We need a whole range of different volunteers to help us deliver our work.  From being a workplace ambassador to carrying out home visits to some of our most vulnerable beneficiaries, we have lots […]

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12.11

Important news for cookshops

We have been made aware that Trading Standards in some parts of England are prepared to let cookware shops open during lockdown by agreeing to classify them as hardware shops (and therefore essential). Bira supported a cookshop to challenge a previous decision to close the shop and the retailer has received written confirmation from the […]

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21.10

Best Small Shops shortlist announced

The shortlist for the Best Small Shops Competition 2020 has been announced – and features a number of Bira members. There are a total of 30 shops in the running to be named Winner, Runner Up or Most Innovative Business During COVID-19, in the awards organised by Indie Retail UK. Bira members The Naked Pantry, […]

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09.10

Lords at Home appoints new MD

Bira member Lords at Home has appointed a new managing director. The independent housewares, cookware and DIY retailer, which has branches across London,  announced the appointment of Tilak Patel this week. Tilak has been with Lords at Home from the very beginning and his appointment as MD is the culmination of seven years of hard […]

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02.10

Bira members named best giftware retailers

Three Bira members won awards at the Greats Gifts Retailers Awards 2020. All About Rose, of Thame, Oxfordshire, won the Independent Retailer of the Year (Home Counties, South & South East), while Cilla and Camilla, of Sherborne, Dorset, won Independent Gift Retailer of the Year (South West). Meanwhile, Barkers and Barkers Home, Northallerton won the […]

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29.09

Mica member goes back to the 70s – and wins top prize

   A Mica store in Chapel-en-le-Frith went back to the 1970s to mark 50 consecutive years of the Peak District town’s annual carnival. Hall’s Mica was just one of the town businesses and homes to decorate their windows to celebrate the anniversary after the annual parade was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions. Owner Joyce Hall, […]

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25.09

Bira members nominated for giftware awards

The country’s best giftware retailers will be celebrated in a virtual awards ceremony – and there’s a number of Bira members in the running. The Greats Gifts Retailers Awards 2020, organised by Progressive Gifts & Home, will be held online on Wednesday, September 30. Nine Bira members are up for awards. They are: Inspitalfields (Independent […]

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22.09

Compulsory for retail staff to wear face masks

It will be compulsory for all retail workers in England to wear face masks, it has been announced today. Waiters, bar staff and taxi drivers will also have to wear face coverings – and there will be fines for those who do not do so. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson today […]

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14.09

Assaults on Retail Workers (Offences) Bill 2019-21

Bira is working with Government to support the Assaults on Retail Workers (Offences) Bill 2019-21. The Bill will make certain offences, including malicious wounding, grievous or actual bodily harm and common assaults, aggravated when perpetrated against a retail worker in the course of their employment. It will make provision about the sentencing of persons convicted of […]

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08.09

Christmas will be a cracker for Mica members

Christmas is set to be a cracker this year for Mica members – and they want you at the table. During lockdown, Mica – the marketing cooperative of independent retailers and Bira’s newest division – has been working hard on its upcoming Christmas campaign. As a group Bira (through Mica) can now offer an alternative […]

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13.08

Stop press! Your next Bira magazine is on its way

The next edition of the Bira membership magazine has gone into production. With a projected delivery date of August 27, this magazine celebrates members’ creativity, tenacity and determination during lockdown and beyond. Cover star Hellen Stirling-Baker of Small Stuff in Sheffield tells us about the innovative ways she’s been boosting business during the pandemic. Elsewhere, […]

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26.06

‘Encouraging’ start to return of non-essential retail

The latest Bira members’ survey has revealed ‘encouraging’ trade following the reopening of non-essential shops in England. And Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre has welcomed the reopening of the hospitality industry – on July 4 in England – as it will further support members and the wider independent retail sector. The members’ survey was carried out to assess […]

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19.06

Bira members’ survey results helps extend government protection scheme

Bira has welcomed the decision to extend protection for businesses from aggressive debt collection. The extended measures will prevent struggling retailers from eviction until September. The protection was due to expire on June 30. The decision was made by the Government after Bira shared information supplied by you in a recent members’ survey. The survey […]

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09.06

Bira Bank agrees loan repayment holidays totalling £1.662 million

Bira Bank has agreed to £1.662m worth of loan repayment holidays for Bira members since the outbreak of coronavirus.   The Bank approved over 100 repayment holidays for members across the UK, including a ladies’ fashion retailer who saw their online activity increase enough to bring furloughed staff back to work, and an outdoor gear […]

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05.06

Soho Road BID scoops top award

Soho Road Business Improvement District (BID) – a Bira Associate – has received a prestigious award from the Queen. The volunteers of Soho Road BID in Handsworth, Birmingham, have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2020. It is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK, recognising the outstanding […]

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03.06

Low footfall and consumer confidence top of members’ concerns

Low footfall and a lack of consumer confidence are some of your biggest concerns ahead of reopening on June 15. We conducted an exclusive members’ survey to gauge your feelings ahead of the reopening of non-essential retail later this month. Of those respondents, almost 50% said they planned to reopen on June 15. Only 2% […]

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14.04

Behind the scenes at Le Creuset

Bira Direct supplier Le Creuset will feature in a BBC Two programme tonight (April 14, 2020). Inside the Factory, fronted by MasterChef host Gregg Wallace, will go behind the scenes at the Le Creuset foundry in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France. The programme will be screened at 9pm and explore the care and attention to detail that goes […]

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14.04

Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival postponed

The Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival has been postponed until next year, it has been announced.   The 2020 edition of Home & Gift will now take place in Harrogate on July, 18-21, 2021, due to the continuing Covid-19 crisis. Show director Kelly Grant said: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the postponement […]

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20.03

Home & Gift Harrogate to go ahead, say organisers

Home & Gift Harrogate will go ahead as planned, organisers have told Bira. The show has been a key date in the retail calendar for 60 years, bringing the retail industry together and allowing buyers and brands to meet, share and do business. Clarion Events, the organisers behind Home & Gift, have today confirmed that […]

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10.03

South East Essex Branch Meeting Minutes

Meeting                Bira South East Essex Branch   At                                The Springhouse, Springhouse Road, Corringham.                                     South East Essex Branch   Date                            Tuesday 21st January 2020   Present                       Ron Huelin (Chairman)           – Retired Member Maureen Huelin (Secretary)   – Retired Member Roy Dedross (Treasurer)         – Retired Member Don Lang                                – F.G. Lang (Grays) Ltd Dave Baskerville                     […]

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06.03

Bira’s five-point plan to Save Our Shops (SOS)

A five-point plan to Save Our Shops (SOS) has been issued by Bira. It’s the key feature of Bira’s forthcoming manifesto which focuses on what can be done to better support independent retail businesses and minimise the burden on them. Bira is asking for the following: Urgent business rates reform – the current system is outdated […]

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05.03

Call for emergency business fund to support coronavirus-hit independent retailers

Bira is calling for the Treasury to set up an emergency business fund to help those affected by coronavirus. The plea comes as part of Bira’s statement to Chancellor Rishi Sunak ahead of next Wednesday’s Budget. Bira is calling for a number of measures to support small retail businesses through the coronavirus emergency including: An immediate increase […]

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14.02

Bira’s message to the new Chancellor

Bira is asking the new Chancellor of the Exchequer to honour pledges made by his predecessor. Bira is calling upon Rishi Sunak to retain plans for business rates reform, and for the implementation of a digital services tax so that large internet businesses pay more. Yesterday (Thursday, February 13), Mr Sunak was appointed Chief Finance Minister following […]

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06.02

Campaign victory for Bira as Scottish Parliament votes to retain Uniform Business Rates

Bira has welcomed the decision by Scottish Parliament to retain the Uniform Business Rates (UBR). MSPs overwhelmingly rejected plans to devolve rate-setting powers to the country’s 32 local authorities at Holyrood on Tuesday (February 4). They voted 103 to 10 against the move. Bira has been campaigning to save the UBR alongside the Scottish Retail Consortium […]

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24.01

Bira partners with Sorbon Estates to support independent retailers

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is supporting independent retailers operating within Buckinghamshire-based Sorbon Estates by extending its complimentary membership offer for another year. The partnership recognises Shanly Group’s – Sorbon Estate’s commercial investment and development arm – 50th anniversary. First launched in 2018, the agreement allows retailers to benefit from more than 30 of […]

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28.01

Bira welcomes the Government’s decision to increase discount rates for small retailers

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has welcomed the Treasury’s decision to increase discount rates for small retailers from one-third to 50 per cent. Bira says the move will save members on average £12,000 per year. The victory follows Bira’s three-year campaign to review the outdated and unfair rates system. The increase in the level […]

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11.10

Excellence in Housewares Awards Winners 2019

Celebrating the winners of The Excellence in Housewares Awards 2019. Organised by Progressive Housewares magazine in conjunction with Bira, the Excellence in Housewares Awards night took place at the Royal Lancaster London on October 2, when nearly 400 movers and shakers of the housewares industry gathered to celebrate into the early hours.  Awards host was […]

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07.10

The 25 best small shops in the UK are announced

After hundreds of entrants, thousands of consumer votes and a panel of industry experts, the top 25 Best Small Shops in the UK have been announced and Bira member Arragons Cycle Centre, in Penrith is in the running. Entries for the Best Small Shops competition opened on the 4th of July 2019, to coincide with Independent’s […]

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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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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

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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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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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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04.04

Business rates in Scotland – April 2019

The principles of  business rates in Scotland are broadly similar to the rating systems in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. All non domestic properties are given an assessment (rateable value) which is equivalent to an annual rental value. The last revaluation took place in 2017 and the next revaluation is scheduled for 2022. Business Rate […]

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06.03

Daniel named best store for toys

DANIEL IN WINDSOR was named Department Store Toy Retailer of the Year 2018 at the recent Toy Industry Awards ceremony. The independent department store also won the prestigious accolade in 2015. Daniel Department Store’s Toy Kingdom is the heart of the family-run store in Windsor. The Daniels understand the importance of education, learning and imagination […]

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19.02

NAHS celebrates a year with Bira

The National Association of Health Stores (NAHS) is celebrating its first anniversary, following its collaboration with The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) in 2018. The NAHS has been working for its members since 1931 and it continues to be run wholly by retailers. The NAHS provides specialist support and representation for independent health stores. In order […]

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14.01

Want to join the bira board?

BIRA WOULD WELCOME members nominating themselves to join its Board of Management for 2019-2021. Retailers from many sectors and from all over the country make up the board, which guides the vital work bira does for the independent community. If you want to offer your input to bira’s activities and policies, please contact andrew.goodacre@bira.co.uk to […]

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14.01

Members to receive the bira membership magazine every two months in 2019

In 2019 members will receive bira magazine every two months. We have taken the decision to reduce the frequency of the title from 10 issues a year in an effort to reduce costs. We will continue, however, to focus on delivering a high-quality publication offering insight to the retail sector and information to help independent […]

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