Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

06 Nov 2020

Bira is calling for government intervention over the types of ’non-essential’ retail still taking place during England’s second lockdown.

Bira believes that some retailers - those with large mixed retail spaces - have been given an unfair advantage as they continue to open while many Bira members and other indies are forced to close for a month.

The Government has today (Friday, November 6) released further clarification over terms of trade however, Bira does not believe it goes far enough.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “We have been pushing for clarity and we are pleased to see some clearer guidance on the types of essential shop and the products available.

“However, we already have concerns that large stores are flouting the rules and would question the percentage of ’essential’ items sold through the likes of B&M and The Original Factory Shop.

“We are also aware that Carpetright is open whereas we have advised all our members selling flooring to close.”

He added: “We have had lots of questions and complaints form members about the actions of other retailers and the unfairness of the regulations. I have raised all these issues with the Business Minister and BEIS since Monday and these guidelines seem to reflect some of the concerns we raised."

Bira will be continuing to liaise with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for the best deal for its members and the wider independent retail sector.

Read the latest government guidance here


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