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Blogs & articles

Welcome to the Knowledge Hub

Knowledge is power. And that’s why we help our members stay ahead with all the latest sector information and insights. You’ll find articles, research, factsheets, legal documents and opinion pieces, all right here in the hub.

Blog Post

Making Tax Digital for VAT – Are you ready?

If you’re filing your own VAT returns as part of Making Tax Digital (MTD), we’ve identified some key tips to ensure you’re ready.

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Blog Post

Cookware conversation is driven by deals and discounting

What are your customers saying on social media about the cookware industry? Now you don’t have to guess. We’ve partnered with Maybe* to provide you with the latest cookware trends and conversations.

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Blog Post

Independent gift shops should promote their strengths over an online experience

As an independent retailer, you probably don’t have time to scour the internet to find inspiration on the latest giftware trends. We’ve partnered up with Maybe*, to deliver up-to-the-minute insight in your industry!

More
Blog Post

The DIY and hardware conversation is being lead by gardening and garden centres

We’d all like to be the first to know what the next big DIY trend is going to be! Here’s how to simply create content for your DIY & Hardware business.

More
Blog Post

Why ignoring mental health is bad for business (and what you can do about it)

The association between work and wellbeing is becoming increasingly obvious; despite this, the Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers reveals that only 39% of organisations have policies or systems in place to support employees with common mental health conditions.

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A recipe for success

Celebrating its 110th anniversary this summer, Potters of Hockley is a fine example of a long-established independent retailer that has reinvented and revived itself.

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Fact Sheet

How to look after your mental health

Bira are proud supporters of Mental Health Foundation who help drive conversations on mental health and body image to create lasting change. Here’s some advice from the Mental Health Foundation on how to look after you and your colleagues’ mental health.

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Blog Post

Cutting the cost of car scams

Following a spate of fraudster scams pretending to be from the DVLA, we’ve highlighted how criminals are stealing from unsuspecting motorists.

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Member Magazine – May/June 2019

Find out the recipe for retail success in May/June 2019 Bira member magazine. Featuring the Big Interview with owners Tom & Alice from Potters of Hockley.

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Blog Post

Knife Sales – At the sharp end

Test purchasing is back on the agenda.

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Blog Post

Making visual impact through colour

Independent retailers are at an advantage over online shops when it comes to making visual impact. By utilising visual merchandising through texture, shape and colour retailers can create displays that influence customers spending habits.

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Win up to £1000 with VISA

We’re excited to share information on the Visa Spend & Win Competition which is in partnership with the Great British High Street Awards. The competition encourages people to spend money in their local independent stores and rewards both businesses and customers. Running until the 27th May 2019, every purchase with Visa in your store gives […]

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Blog Post

Changes for employers from April 2019

A brief summary of the key changes that employers should be aware of from 6th April 2019.

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Blog Post

5 lessons independent retailers can learn from luxury brands

We’ve shed light on some of the key lessons that independent stores can learn from high-end retail brands.

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Blog Post

Take a break from the holiday pay confusion

There may still be confusion as to what employers can, and can’t do when it comes to holidays. With bank holidays on the horizon, we’ve addressed the many myths and misunderstandings regarding holidays and holiday pay.

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Blog Post

How to start a retail business: 9 Steps to get your biz up and running

If you’re at the start of your business journey take a look at this retail roadmap to get you started on your path to success. By taking these steps, you’ll be well on your way to starting a retail operation of your own.

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Doing what comes naturally

Twice named Scotland’s independent Health and Lifestyle Retailer of the Year, Dilip Kotecha of Quality Vitamins and Herbs in Glasgow believes in offering a huge selection of specialist products backed up with expert service.

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An exclusive Bira Direct member gift at Exclusively Housewares 2019

Following the success of last year’s show Bira Direct will be exhibiting again this year, with an added benefit for Bira members in 2019.

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Blog Post

Increases in minimum pension contributions – April 2019

In April, the minimum contributions will increase again from 5% to 8%. Increasing contributions should be straightforward but there are checks to make.

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Blog Post

New payslip rules explained

From 6 April, new legislation will require employers to provide payslips to all workers as well as itemised payslips to those whose pay varies on hours worked.

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Who is playing with our rating?

From having only 5-star ratings, Des Count, our man in the gift shop, is being hit by mysterious 1-star ratings which lack any comments. What funny business is this?

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Blog PostFact Sheet

Your guide to safe payments

Global Payments, the approved service partners behind the Bira Card Processing service is sharing information on PCI compliance; understanding risk and how to protect your business with this useful guide from the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.

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Blog Post

Twenty Years of ISAs

The Individual Savings Account (ISA) celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Launched in March 1999, the ISA was the result of the Government’s plan to encourage more people to save. Here are some reminders of the features and history of the ISA.

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Blog Post

Win retail space in a retail centre near you

HATCH is a competition supporting budding businesses and those ready for the next step. Revo + HATCH are looking for businesses that are small, hungry and ultimately, have potential for longevity. Are you up for it?

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Corrosive Voluntary Commitments – POS

An important Government initiative helping to restrict access to acids and other products containing harmful corrosive substances to under 18s. Act now to support the voluntary commitments for retailers.

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Blog Post

Workplace mental health

With the Government forecasting that one in four of us will experience mental health problems, it is important to ensure you understand its implications.

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Blog Post

April 2019 | Pay changes you need to know

Are you one of the many employers confused by the terminology used for minimum pay rates? We’ve highlighted the upcoming changes effective from April 2019.

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Blog Post

How to get the most out of your ePOS system

As a retailer, your ePOS system is the most important tool you have in your store. More than just a device that sits on your checkout counter, it can also help you manage multiple aspects of your business — including stock control, customer relationships, analytics, and more.

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Act now to secure a rates reduction

Members hoping to secure a reduction in their business rates are urged to contact their local authority or council to find out how the reduction will be applied.

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The rise and rise of independent marketplaces

Online marketplaces offer independent bricks-and-mortar retailers an impressive platform from which to sell not but nationally, but globally. Would any of these be appropriate for your store?

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Displays that lead to sales

In some companies, staff training is simply limited to watching an induction video about health & safety. Thankfully many Bira members appreciate the benefits that professional staff development can provide, especially in specialist fields such as visual merchandising.

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Harnessing local support

So how can Bira members continuously remind shoppers to use their local independent retailers, to buy something and to keep money in the local economy? Here, we take a look at a few campaigns that seem to be working.

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Bira Direct boosts giftware offer

Bira Direct is continuing to work hard to support members by working with a wide range of suppliers, brands and products, from fashion accessories to ironmongery, all with preferential terms.

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Selling electrical goods?

Retailers looking for an alternative to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, which oblige them to take back old equipment when a customer buys a new equivalent, can join the Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS).

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Blog Post

What might Brexit mean for members?

The government has provided some general guidance for retail on what to expect after 29 March. Some points require action now, whether we end up with a deal or no-deal Brexit.

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Independents rise above failing majors

The media obsession with poor retailers taints us all, says Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre.

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Keeping half a step ahead of customers

Rumours of the death of the department store have been exaggerated. The eight-strong Morleys Group proves that consistent investment in property, brands and staff pays off.

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Member magazine – March/April 2019

With eight department stores in the Morleys Group, MD David Hordle directs a constant cycle of investment and improvement in stores, staff and brands.

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The retail software you need for Making Tax Digital

Does your retail business have the right software solutions in place so you’ll be compliant with Making Tax Digital this year? Vend, Bira’s approved retail Epos, is here to make sure all your bases are covered for Making Tax Digital in 2019.

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Blog Post

Driving change by shopping sustainably

Bira Direct has negotiated exclusive offers and discounts on products that are sourced sustainably and with reduced environmental impact.

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Blog Post

Finding the right insurance partner

Finding the right insurance broker who ticks all the boxes needn’t be a stressful or time-consuming process. This simple guide helps you dig a little deeper and learn what you are getting for your hard-earned cash.

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Blog Post

When did you last complete your #LifeUpdates?

Despite the perception the big cyber media stories might paint – it’s not just large global companies that are at risk of a cyber security breach.

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Getting in to gardening

Springtime is boom time for retailers serving gardeners. Are you making the most of the potential of this huge area?

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Blog Post

How to diversify your product range in 2019

The shape of the high street is rapidly changing and so are the wants of consumers. Stay ahead of the curve by effectively diversifying your product range with these NEW Bira Direct Suppliers.

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Fact Sheet

Making Tax Digital – A bitesize guide for business

Making Tax Digital begins in April. This useful, bite-size guide for business will explain everything you need to know.

Download
Blog Post

Don’t slip up calculating the costs of accidents

Calculating the true costs of accidents to both employers and employees isn’t straightforward. Follow our 6 step risk reduction plan, to reduce the risks and cut costs to your business.

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A huge opportunity in the vintage and classic car community

The vintage, veteran and classic car community is a huge market opportunity for Guy Lachlan’s products.

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Blog Post

Retail Tech Trends for 2019

2018 was huge for retail with new opportunities & challenges. Read the top three retail tech trends from Vend that retailers should pay close attention to in 2019.

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Getting smart about security: prevention is better than cure

We’ve asked experts on security products to tell us what they think about new smart technology and what are the best methods for protecting your business and homes.

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Keeping your business safe the smart way

It’s well known that burglary rates rise at this time of year. Burg-Wächter explains how to keep your business premises safe.

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ArticleBlog Post

Hot weather in the workplace – A Health & Safety perspective

Does the current heatwave give you cause for concern about the temperature in your workplace? Here’s how to keep your employees safe in the workplace.

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ArticleBlog Post

Health of the High Street Survey

We’re running an important nationwide project to update the data we have for the overall health of our high streets. Please complete the short six question survey below and distribute to as many of your customers as you can.

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ArticleBlog Post

National Home Improvement Week

‘Love the Home You Live In’ is the tagline for National Home Improvement Week, a new consumer marketing initiative to be held during 12-18 March.

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Blog Post

Making Tax Digital for VAT – Are you ready?

If you’re filing your own VAT returns as part of Making Tax Digital (MTD), we’ve identified some key tips to ensure you’re ready.

More
Blog Post

Cookware conversation is driven by deals and discounting

What are your customers saying on social media about the cookware industry? Now you don’t have to guess. We’ve partnered with Maybe* to provide you with the latest cookware trends and conversations.

More
Blog Post

Independent gift shops should promote their strengths over an online experience

As an independent retailer, you probably don’t have time to scour the internet to find inspiration on the latest giftware trends. We’ve partnered up with Maybe*, to deliver up-to-the-minute insight in your industry!

More
Blog Post

The DIY and hardware conversation is being lead by gardening and garden centres

We’d all like to be the first to know what the next big DIY trend is going to be! Here’s how to simply create content for your DIY & Hardware business.

More
Blog Post

Why ignoring mental health is bad for business (and what you can do about it)

The association between work and wellbeing is becoming increasingly obvious; despite this, the Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers reveals that only 39% of organisations have policies or systems in place to support employees with common mental health conditions.

More
Blog Post

Cutting the cost of car scams

Following a spate of fraudster scams pretending to be from the DVLA, we’ve highlighted how criminals are stealing from unsuspecting motorists.

More
Blog Post

Making visual impact through colour

Independent retailers are at an advantage over online shops when it comes to making visual impact. By utilising visual merchandising through texture, shape and colour retailers can create displays that influence customers spending habits.

More
Blog Post

Changes for employers from April 2019

A brief summary of the key changes that employers should be aware of from 6th April 2019.

More
Blog Post

5 lessons independent retailers can learn from luxury brands

We’ve shed light on some of the key lessons that independent stores can learn from high-end retail brands.

More
Blog Post

Take a break from the holiday pay confusion

There may still be confusion as to what employers can, and can’t do when it comes to holidays. With bank holidays on the horizon, we’ve addressed the many myths and misunderstandings regarding holidays and holiday pay.

More
Fact Sheet

How to look after your mental health

Bira are proud supporters of Mental Health Foundation who help drive conversations on mental health and body image to create lasting change. Here’s some advice from the Mental Health Foundation on how to look after you and your colleagues’ mental health.

Download
Fact Sheet

Your step-by-step guide to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Process

Your step-by-step guide to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Process provided by Bira’s chosen Card Processing provider, Global Payments.

Download
Fact Sheet

Your guide to safe payments

Global Payments, the approved service partners behind the Bira Card Processing service is sharing information on PCI compliance; understanding risk and how to protect your business with this useful guide from the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.

Download
Fact Sheet

Making Tax Digital – A bitesize guide for business

Making Tax Digital begins in April. This useful, bite-size guide for business will explain everything you need to know.

Download
Fact Sheet

Your online retail guide

Not only has e-commerce completely shifted how consumers’ shop, the online world is now having a transformative impact on the in-store physical retail experience. Find out how you can start creating meaningful moments across your businesses digital journey.

Download
Fact Sheet

Managing paternity leave in your business

You may think that every expectant father is entitled to time off, but in fact there are a number of eligibility conditions that need to be fulfilled.

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Fact Sheet

bira’s Business Rates Manifesto

A simpler, standard rateable allowance to help independent retail businesses. Read bira’s Business Rates Manifesto, which has been presented to MP’s here.

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Fact Sheet

Home Office Serious Violence Strategy

The Home Office will today (Monday 9 April) launch the Serious Violence Strategy, which will set out the Government’s response to the recent increase in knife crime, gun crime and homicide.

Download
Fact Sheet

Cyber Aware’s new Perception Gap Report

This innovative new report evidences the misconceptions the public have towards cyber security, compared to the reality of the threat – a perceptions gap which is eroding our resilience to cyber criminals.

Download
Fact Sheet

Withdrawing the paper £10 note – FAQ’s

The last day to use your paper £10 notes is 1 March 2018. The Bank of England answers your frequently asked questions regarding the withdrawal in this factsheet.

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Video

Northumbria Pets

Northumbria Pets first came across bira in 2006 at a trade show event and has been a member ever since, taking advantage of bira direct’s pre-negotiated terms and discounts with suppliers.

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Video

Advance Performance

Sam Hale of Advance Performance discusses her business journey which started 18 years ago from a back bedroom at home. The ‘running store for everyone’ is now based in both Peterborough and Cambridge and prides itself on offering a high customer service which cannot be delivered by an online-only retail store.

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Blog PostVideo

A recipe for bags load of energy

Ever wondered how you could get bags load of energy? National Association of Health Stores (NAHS) explains how to make the most from items you can find at your local independent Health Store.

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Video

How to login to the Member Dashboard

A step-by-step guide on how to login to the Member Dashboard, available to bira members. Unlock member-only service information, resources, bira member magazines and exclusive content today.

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Video

How to use bira direct Invoice Manager

It’s now easier to keep all of your invoices in one place. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to us bira direct Invoice Manager, available to all bira members.

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Video

Your guide to updating your supplier page

A step-by-step video tutorial on how to edit your bira direct supplier page.

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Video

Toolshop

Meet Vin Vara – Bira’s formal National President and independent hardware business owner of the Tool Shop Group.

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Video

Glasswells

Member testimonial

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Video

Rachel Riley

Member testimonial

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Video

Lords

Member testimonial

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The bira member magazine is created with our members in mind and is exclusively available both as hard copies and online to our members. Our membership magazine demonstrates real membership value and is a means for sourcing advice, support, savings and services. It signposts members towards exciting events and exhibitions, and new products and suppliers. And it ensures our members are well-informed on the latest matters of legislation and compliance affecting their business.
The BAGMA Bulletin is created with our members in mind and is exclusively available both as hard copies and online to our members. Our membership magazine demonstrates real membership value and is a means for sourcing advice, support, savings and services. It signposts members towards exciting events and exhibitions, and new products and suppliers. And it ensures our members are well-informed on the latest matters of legislation and compliance affecting their business.
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