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08.09

Caerphilly is first Welsh county on local lockdown

Caerphilly is the first Welsh county to be put on local lockdown and it will last until at least October, the health minister has announced. From 6pm tonight (Tuesday, September 8) no-one will be allowed to leave Caerphilly county without good reason. Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething said new restrictions on the 181,000 people living […]

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By emilybridgewater | Read more

08.09

ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor – August 2020

BRC’s ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor for August 2020 is now available to download. Key findings include: UK Footfall decreased by 34.8% in August, with only a 7.3 percentage point improvement from July. This remains below the longer-term 12-month average decline of 27.6%. Footfall on High Streets declined by 41.7% year on year. This was the worst […]

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By bira | Read more

28.08

Stax Trade Centres launches new big brands event online

During a time where many businesses across the UK are having to adapt to a new way of operating, wholesale giants Stax Trade Centres have unveiled their plans to take one of their most popular annual trade shows online.    Stax’s Big Brands Show has been running in excess of 20 years, offering customers exciting […]

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By bira | Read more

26.02

Bira Training – Venue Change

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please note that the course will still be running on Wednesday 22nd April. Just to remind you what the course is about, Bira Training has partnered with Maybe* to provide social media training specifically catered to retailers. Here’s what course leader, Polly Barnfield said about the course: “Our aim […]

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By andrewshaw | Read more

11.08

Social Distancing Kits Supplier Adds Summer Sale POS

Bira’s preferred supplier of social distancing signage and screens has added a range of summer sale POS to their offering.  The new designs still incorporate key important social distancing signage as a secondary message but now have a focus on drawing customers in to your shop to see your summer sale items. Ranging from simple […]

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By bira | Read more

31.07

Job Retention Bonus scheme: More details released

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today (July 31) unveiled further details of the £1,000-per-employee Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus. The announcement coincides with changes to the terms of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from tomorrow (August 1) when employers will have to start paying employees’ national insurance and pension contributions for the hours not worked.  It’s the […]

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By emilybridgewater | Read more

21.07

Lifting restrictions from businesses in England

In England, from 1 August, if prevalence remains around or below current levels, and COVID-19 Secure guidelines are followed, the government will: Give employers more discretion on how they ensure employees can work safely. Working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. […]

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By bira | Read more

17.07

Wales issues new guidance to retailers

The Welsh Government has released new guidelines for social distancing in retail. The revised advice is part of the easing of restrictions in Wales while still mitigating the risk of coronavirus. The accompanying document guidance says: “The regulations include a new more detailed approach to requiring all reasonable measures to be taken to minimise risk […]

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02.07

Autumn Fair 2020 will offer a virtual forum this September

Hyve Group announce changes to their 2020 show calendar Autumn Fair will return 5th-8th September 2021   London, UK, 2nd July 2020 – Hyve, the organiser of Autumn Fair, the season’s most important marketplace for the home and gift retail industry, and the co-located Jewellery & Watch and Fashion (JWF) announce today changes to the […]

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By bira | Read more

01.07

Increased road closures ‘detrimental’ to high street trade, says Bira

Increasing numbers of road closures are a further barrier for shoppers to return to the high street, says Bira. Bira is raising concerns after members in coastal resorts highlighted the problem when roads were closed as tourists flocked to beaches during lockdown last week. Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said these issues are part of a country-wide, […]

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01.07

Coronavirus: Are you ready for a second wave?

This week, Leicester was placed back in the first phase of lockdown following a spike in COVID-19 cases, prompting people to ask whether they are ready if the same happens in their city or town. Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre has shared his thoughts on how independent retailers can prepare should a local – or national […]

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30.06

Non-essential retailers in Leicester forced to close again

Non-essential retailers in Leicester have been placed on lockdown again following a spike in coronavirus cases in the city. The decision comes just two weeks after non-essential retail in England was allowed to reopen. Schools in Leicester have also been put back into lockdown. The situation comes as the rest of England prepares to ease […]

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26.06

Retailers in Scotland urged to promote use of face masks

Retailers in Scotland are being urged to display a poster at their entrance requesting shoppers to wear face coverings. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made the request following a decision to reopen most non-essential retail on Monday, June 29, with further restrictions eased from July 6. The Scottish Government has provided template posters and printable […]

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20.05

When can you claim for Covid-19 Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?

Bira members looking to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments for employees absent because of Covid-19 will be able to do so from next week. HMRC’s new online portal will launch next Tuesday, May 26, as part of the Government’s package of support measures for small and medium-sized businesses affected by the pandemic. This […]

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29.04

Bira’s CEO shares possible exit strategy

Brave, customer-focussed retailers who work closely with others in their community are most likely to survive in post-lockdown UK, according to Bira’s CEO. Andrew Goodacre has shared his thoughts for a possible exit strategy for the retail industry calling for restrictions to be first lifted for smaller shops and businesses. It comes as pressure mounts […]

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28.04

Bira welcomes 100% Government-backed loans for smallest businesses with bounce back loan scheme

Bira has welcomed a new Government bounce back scheme to offer 100% taxpayer-backed loans for the UK’s smallest businesses. Last night (April 27), Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the scheme would start next week offering firms loans of up to £50,000 within days of applying. To access the loans – free of capital […]

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15.04

Crime unit provides latest advice for Bira members

A crime prevention unit is sharing information with Bira members in a bid to help protect their businesses amid the outbreak of Covid-19. The National Police Intelligence Team is highlighting some of the retail crime trends emerging as a result of the UK-wide lockdown. Announced by PM Boris Johnson on March 23, the lockdown included […]

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26.03

Utility Options waives termination fees and minimum required contract lengths

Business continuity is a pressing issue for many Bira members, especially when it comes to communications. Your telecoms provider should be able to apply a temporary divert on your phone line(s), but if you need anything more complicated, or are trying to replicate multiple lines/extensions, then Utility Options’ internet telephony products could help. Utility Options […]

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By bira | Read more

17.03

Bira Direct Product of the Month – EVO Lifestyle Products

The essential cleaning sponge from EVO Lifestyle products An official brand partner of Mrs Hinch the scrub daddy range has become a firm favourite in the cleaning category with customers. Scrub Daddy’s FlexTexture® changes texture based on your water temperature. Firm in cold water for tough scrubbing, soft in warm water for light cleaning He […]

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By bira | Read more

16.03

Bira Direct Supplier of the Month March 2020 – Primaflow

Primaflow is the largest distributor of plumbing fittings and related plumbing sundries. Primaflow offer a vast range of plumbing products and a next day delivery service, from their Birmingham distribution centre, with just a £50 minimum order. The cut of time for a next day delivery is 5pm. From copper fittings to drain cleaner, plastic […]

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By bira | Read more

16.03

£320 million package of support for Scotland’s businesses

Immediate action in response to COVID-19 for Scotland New measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 on the business community in Scotland have been announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. The following steps will be put in place to support businesses during the 2020-21 financial year: a 75% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure […]

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By bira | Read more

21.02

New immigration points system – what you need to know

Bira’s legal partner Ellis Whittam tells you all you need to know about the Government’s new immigration points system Now, as the transition period plays out, the government has finally unveiled how its ‘Australian-style’ points-based immigration system will work in practice. With immigration one of the driving forces behind the Brexit referendum and a key […]

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By emilybridgewater | Read more

21.02

Frankie Bridge helps launch search to find Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2020

Singer and now author Frankie Bridge has helped launch the search to find the UK’s Best Small Shop of 2020.   Visiting independent book shop Linghams in Heswall, the Wirral, Frankie, whose new book Open: Why Asking For Help Can Save Your Life is now available at booksellers across the UK, kickstarted this year’s competition […]

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By bira | Read more

21.02

New Toast shop will offer its customers 135 different spreads

Braintree’s newest coffee shop will open on Saturday 21st February during a grand opening ceremony. MP James Cleverly is set to cut the ribbon around 10am to mark the official launch of Toast on High Street. The new cafe offers customers the chance to choose from 135 different spreads to put on a slice of […]

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By bira | Read more

19.02

Severe flood warnings across the UK

As of Wednesday 19th February, the government has announced six severe flood warnings with danger to life and 126 flood warnings where immediate action is required across the UK. Hundreds of locations have already been affected by the heavy rain-falls. Key locations for the most severe flood warnings currently include: River Lugg at Hampton Bishop […]

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18.02

Bira Bank’s vehicle loan promotion is now live

Bira Bank, the provider of affordable, reliable and personal finance for Bira members, has announced that their vehicle loan promotion is now live. If you are looking to make your next vehicle purchase affordable and want to avoid the pitfalls surrounding PCP finance, Bira Bank is here to help you. Hurry, these promotional rates will […]

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By andrewshaw | Read more

17.02

Product of the month – T&G Woodware

Inspired by traditional British blooms and our respect and need to look after flowers and insects, swap out the everyday with this new range to brighten the kitchen for Spring. This blooming beautiful range of ceramic storage pieces includes store jars, utensil/bottle pot, butter dish, jug, round dish, salt and pepper shakers, FSC® certified beech […]

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17.02

ESG announce new webstore

Bira Direct supplier ESG – Eurosonic Group are excited to announce the launch of their brand new webstore. The new webstore will make it easier for members to browse products and and manage their orders and invoices online, saving valuable time. Once logged in members can browse and order from the whole product range from […]

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By bira | Read more

17.02

Hug Rug Launch New Range Made Entirely from Waste Plastic

Yorkshire-based manufacturers Phoenox Textiles have released their new Hug Rug Sense range, a collection of luxury mats and rugs. But Sense is more than your average rug collection, it is the latest sustainability innovation from the creators of Hug Rug, who have been crafting homewares from recycled products for over 10 years. Made entirely from […]

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17.02

Bira Members meet Mary Berry at Spring Fair with Captivate Brands

Several Bira members had the pleasure of meeting Mary Berry, as she launched her new Signature collection and English Garden Collection through Bira Direct supplier Captivate Brands. Managing Director of Bira Direct, Jeff Moody said, “It was fantastic to see so many members interact with Mary as she explained the ranges and answered any questions. […]

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23.01

Bira joins National initiative to Love Local on 14th February

Bira in collaboration with ShopAppy.com is encouraging people to support their local businesses on the 14th of February for ‘Love Local Day’ – Love Local Day is one of the first events for a national campaign declaring 2020 The Year to Support Local. Love Local Day will be centred on sharing the love of all […]

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By bira | Read more

07.01

Bira Bank launches new vehicle brands

BIRA BANK IS starting the year with more savings for Bira members who want a competitive interest rate loan to purchase new vehicles at discounted prices. Following research on which brands Bira members are interested in, the bank has partnered with PSA Group and FCA Group, which handle vehicles from Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Fiat Professional, […]

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By bira | Read more

24.12

Bira Christmas Opening Hours

Please note that Bira office opening hours may be slightly affected during the Christmas and New Year period. Please check on the timetable below to see how office opening hours will differ. Monday 23rd December open 9 – 17:00pm Tuesday 24th December 9am – 13:00pm The Bira, BAGMA and MICA office will be closed from […]

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19.12

Obituary: John Twallin

John Twallin, joint founder of Toolbank and former chairman of its parent company Dormole, died on Saturday December 14. He was 86. “Although he had not been in particularly good health recently, he still retained a tremendous interest in the business and all the people in it, and he will be very sadly missed by […]

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By andrewshaw | Read more

05.12

Owner of Naked Grain, Marcia Hallett, wins £1,000 in Bira Insurance competition

Marcia Hallett, owner of Naked Grain Mirrors and Interiors, recently entered the Bira Insurance competition to win £1,000 and received a comparison quote for her business insurance when she’s next due to renew. On Wednesday 4th December Marcia was selected at random from all Bira members that entered the competition between 5th September to 30th […]

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By bira | Read more

18.11

What will the future of the high street look like?

SMILEY MOVEMENT CIC, the non-profit arm of the original Smiley® fashion brand is hosting its final Smiley TALK, Future of the High Street for 2019 on Thursday 21st November in London in partnership with the Charity Retail Association. Following a string of well-attended Smiley TALKS in Brighton, Cambridge and London throughout the year, these free […]

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By bira | Read more

28.10

How will smart meters improve your business?

The government is committed to all homes and small businesses being offered smart meters by the end of 2020. A national competition is being run to find new ideas to improve energy use. What is your experience of smart meters? Smart meters are being rolled out to small businesses across Great Britain and are a […]

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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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11.10

New Einhell B2B online buying portal

The Einhell B2B portal is a web shop that allows Bira members to purchase items, access product images and assets and also purchase spare parts and accessories. Available for all Bira members this new portal will make it quicker and easier to place your Einhell orders. Order before 31.10.19 to take advantage of the introductory […]

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06.09

Dickies Announce Price increase for October

Dickies have released the below letter informing customers of a price increase from 7th October 2019. Dear Customer, As a business, we have always tried to keep price increases to a minimum; however, significant macro-enconomic factors (currency devaluation, raw material cost increases, higher labour rates and enhanced investments into our business have all contributed to […]

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02.08

Villeroy & Boch launch new Metro Chic collection

Signature Collection: MetroChic The MetroChic collection stands for timeless elegance. The geometric decoration brings the classic colours of Black and Gold onto pure white premium bone porcelain, its varying compositions lending an individual touch. The new MetroChic collection is a statement for those with an urban, cosmopolitan style. The striking design, inspired by Art Deco, […]

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15.05

Time to engage with innovation says CEO, Andrew Goodacre

On his travels CEO Andrew Goodacre has been inspired by new ideas OVER THE PAST couple of months I have been trying to visit as many members as possible, often at branch meetings, to better understand the challenges and opportunities faced by our independent retailer community. Common themes have emerged: diversity, plus innovation to engage […]

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05.02

New notes for Northern Ireland

New £10 and £5 notes with a vertical design and in the polymer format will be issued in Northern Ireland on 27 February. The Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank will introduce both valuations, but Danske Bank will issue only £10 notes. Unlike Bank of England notes, the existing £10 and £5 notes will always be legal currency, […]

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20.12

Business as usual for Scotland’s retailers

Scotland’s Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay, published his draft budget proposal including plans to provide Scotland with economic certainty ahead of Brexit. So, what will this mean for retailers? Overall, the proposals will not make much difference to retailers in Scotland but working with bira’s approved partner for rates appeals, Mark Radford, we’ve summarised what the announcement will […]

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22.11

Working hard to support your business growth

At bira direct, adding value to our members is the reason we exist. Once you’re a member we strive to support your business throughout your membership. Right now, we’ve got a big focus on helping you drive more people to your shop with our Footfall drivers campaign and this will continue to be a focus […]

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By pipjohnson | Read more

08.11

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) carries out spot checks

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has been carrying out spot checks on employers across the UK to make sure they are complying with their workplace pensions duties. Auto-Enrolment Pension Scheme (AE) audits are giving employers confidence that their processes and procedures comply with this complex legislation and is helping them avoid fines. Executive Director of Automatic […]

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By joannecooper | Read more

27.09

Stars Underlines celebrates 10th year

Stars Underlines Best Shop Awards reveals its plans for the 10th edition of the only intimates and lingerie retail awards in the UK and Ireland. On 15th November visitors will attend a fun-filled evening with cabaret and singers at the world-famous Café de Paris in the heart of London’s West End. LYCRA® is headline sponsor, […]

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By kategodber | Read more

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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02.07

Draper Tools announce 2018 Summer Show with exclusive discounts for bira members

  Draper Tools would like to invite BIRA members to the company’s 2018 Summer Show. The special three-day event runs from Monday 16th July to Wednesday 18th July, from 10.00 am to 9.00 pm each day at The Noke Hotel, Watford Road, St. Albans AL2 3DS. The Summer Show is a fantastic opportunity to take […]

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By pipjohnson | Read more

22.06

bira exhibits at leading housewares show for the first time

Known as the industry’s must attend show Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical have become the focus of the year for housewares, table top and small domestic appliances exhibitors to showcase new products, Christmas Collections and preview spring/summer launches.   Suppliers exhibiting at the show included names such as,  Black + Blum, Bodum, Brabantia, Denby, Horwood […]

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