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The 25 best small shops in the UK are announced

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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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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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04.09

Businesses come together to urge business rates inquiry results

Bira has joined forces with a number of bodies, including the BRC and Association of Convenience Stores, to urge the Treasury Select Committee to release the findings of its inquiry into business rates. With several of the MPs involved in the inquiry moving into roles within Government, the inquiry has been held up and there […]

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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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Reports & Stats

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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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23.07

Members nominated for Excellence in Housewares Awards

Following industry-wide nominations from both suppliers and retailers, plus a day-long panel meeting to analyse and debate the housewares retail sector, the finalists for the Excellence in Housewares Awards 2019 retail categories have now been announced and Bira members are in the running.  HousewaresNews.net and Progressive Housewares’ editor, Jo Howard enthused: “We are thrilled to present an inspirational […]

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19.07

Disappointing figures for the quarter

Our latest sales figures show an average fall of -2.94% for independent retailers compared to the same three months last year. Scotland saw the sharpest fall in the UK compared to April, May and June in 2018. East Anglia was the only region reporting that sales had increased marginally, by an average of 1.32%. The […]

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Reports & Stats

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18.07

Bira joins Down Your High Street to celebrate bricks and mortar retailers that trade online

Independent retailers came together last week at the OXO Tower in London to celebrate the ongoing success of the national online selling platform – Down Your High Street, alongside event organisers Network & Chill and partners The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira). With workshop sessions from DYHS supporter Mark Hayes, stylist on ITVs Lorraine and […]

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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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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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15.05

Ofgem announces strategic review of microbusiness energy market

Ofgem is concerned some microbusinesses are struggling to engage with the market and paying more for their energy than they should. Our evaluation of the impact of the CMA’s price transparency remedy suggests that wider issues remain in the £3.5 billion microbusiness energy market. Ofgem presents its initial analysis on consumer harm and seeks further […]

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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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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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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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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 […]

Direct
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27.02

Putting off installing the latest software updates could result in cyber crime

New #LifeUpdates campaign is warning that putting off installing the latest software and app updates can result in becoming a victim of cyber crime New research from Anglia Ruskin University, in partnership with the government’s Cyber Aware campaign, has revealed that nearly nine in ten (89%) respondents delay doing one or more ‘life updates’1. This […]

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14.02

120 years supporting independent retail businesses

This year, the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) celebrates 120 years of supporting independent retailers. Since 1899 when Bira’s predecessors – the Ironmongers Federation, the British Hardware Federation and the Drapers Chamber of Trade (DCT) were formed, and following a number of business acquisitions and partnerships, including the British Shops and Stores Association in 2009, […]

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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

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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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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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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25.10

bira’s magazine and newsletter are officially award-winning!

bira’s membership magazine, as well as the membership newsletter came away with silvers at the annual Association Excellence Awards, held at the Kia Oval in Kennington, London on Friday 12 October. Some of the team behind the magazine and newsletter attended the event and were delighted to celebrate the honours after picking up the two silver […]

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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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12.09

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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23.07

National Association Awards shortlist bira for three accolades

A panel of judges have voted The British Independent Retailers Association (bira) as finalists in three categories for the prestigious Association Excellence Awards 2018. bira has been shortlisted for Best Association Website, Best Association Newsletter and Best Association Magazine.   The awards recognise and reward the hard-won achievements of UK trade bodies, professionals membership organisations […]

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11.07

Best Small Shops competition returns

The Best Small Shops competition, managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC), celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK’s High Streets and the central role they play in their local community. The search for the best small shop in the UK launches on the 4th July 2018 to coincide with Independents’ […]

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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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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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12.04

Government Serious Violence Strategy announced

Home Secretary Amber Rudd today (Monday 9 April) sets out a multi-million pound commitment to steering young people away from crime and tackling violent drug-dealing gangs through the Government’s first Serious Violence Strategy. Commissioned by the Home Secretary and backed with £40m of Home Office funding, it marks a major shift in the Government’s response […]

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14.03

How are you growing your account in 2018?

bira direct supplier morning – May 10th 2018 This is a must-attend for ALL suppliers who are serious about growing their bira direct business with independents. Hear how some of our most successful product suppliers are engaging busy independent retailers and growing their accounts; many of which experienced double-digit growth in 2017. Including successful tactics […]

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06.03

Cyber-savvy public could save UK plc millions

New report from the Government’s Cyber Aware campaign identifies a ‘perception gap’ which is putting UK businesses and the public at risk online A new report from the Government’s Cyber Aware campaign, A Call to Action: The Cyber Aware Perception Gap, identifies not only the growing gulf between how the public and small businesses view […]

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05.03

John Fewings, Honorary President of Home Hardware passes away

Home Hardware is very sad to announce that John Fewings, Honorary President of Home Hardware passed away on Saturday 24th February, aged 83 following a stroke. His wife Eileen and his two daughters, Jillian and Debbie were at his bedside. John is leaving a legacy at Home Hardware that will be remembered for many years […]

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