02 Feb 2021

Bira continues fight against lockdown 'unfairness'

Bira has once again spoken out about lockdown 'unfairness' which means many independent retailers must close while major chains have customers queuing to get in.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Bira's CEO Andrew Goodacre spoke of the disparity between the non-essential retailers forced to shut and the large chains using loopholes in the law to continue trade.

Under current restrictions in England, only stores selling predominantly 'essential' items however, many chains such as supermarkets and garden centres are also selling rafts of 'non-essential' items.

The article follows figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reporting that 2020 was the worst year for retail since records began.

Andrew told the Daily Mail: "We are not happy with the large general retailers being allowed to trade in this way, selling products that are found in the specialist retailers that are now closed for the third time."

He later added: "It is unfair competition and wrong. We have urged the Government and the local authorities to do more about it and yet I only hear about small shops being told they have to close.

"To add insult to injury, many of the businesses have received a full rates holiday despite experiencing great sales during the crisis."

Read the full interview here 

Bira raised the matter with the Government last November after many chains continued to trade through pre-Christmas lockdown restrictions.

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