The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has expressed disappointment non-essential retailers will not be able to reopen in England until 12 April
When Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined his ‘road map’ to recovery from national lockdown, the plan included non-essential retail, hairdressers and gyms reopening on April 12, as long as conditions are met.
However, Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre said it was disappointing non-essential retailers would miss out on the Easter trading period. ‘Whilst it is good for us to have a date, we are very disappointed that non-essential shops will miss the Easter period, especially as they also missed out on most of the busy festive period,’ he said.
The inequality of trading between independent retailers and large general stores and garden centres continues to be a cause of concern for Bira, especially for the next few weeks and months.
‘Independent retailers are desperate to be open and serving their communities – they have always been safe and will continue to be so. In the meantime, we have large general retailers, and garden centres free to trade despite only selling a small amount of essential items with the prospect of being free form competition for the next seven weeks,’ he added.
The Chancellor will release the Budget next week and Bira hopes that it will detail support for industries such as retail which has struggled for the past year due to the restrictions.