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By Bira

Be ready to adapt in 2019, says Bira president

HOLD STEADY. BE prudent. Be cautious. But don’t be afraid to take calculated risks.

That is the message for Bira members for 2019 from president Surinder Josan, who says that the multiples envy the ability of independent retail businesses to react quickly to trading conditions.

“As independents, we can be very quick to adapt to circumstances. The big boys would love to be in our position,” he says. “In my own business, I am very upbeat and very confident about whatever comes our way in 2019. We always have lots of stock, but I’ve been buying even more.”

The owner of All Seasons DIY in Smethwick, West Midlands, admits that 2018 was challenging, but also produced some positives: “Our sales on Sundays rocketed. We have had more people coming into us with problems on things they’ve bought elsewhere. When they see the knowledge we have, they tend to come back to us first next time. And we have also seen a lot more card payments, especially via contactless.”

Now halfway through his presidential year, Surinder has enjoyed travelling the country meeting members: “It’s been good to see the success we had in the budget with our campaign for business rates reform.”

Surinder has enjoyed working with bira’s new CEO Andrew Goodacre: “It’s good to have someone looking at bira in an analytical way, through a fresh pair of eyes. Some of us have been in the association so long, maybe we can’t see the wood for the trees.”


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