Bira

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has revealed insights into how traders are feeling about the future of retail, following Christmas and the January sales.

Bira, which works with more than 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, conducted a Retail Sentiment Survey which was sent to members. The study delved into how Christmas and January trading was for 2023/2024 compared with the previous period last year, and scoped confidence levels for the upcoming months.

A total of 57% of respondents reported that last Christmas was worse than Christmas 2022, and 59% indicated that January 2024 was worse than January 2023. Only 25% of respondents expressed confidence in the future, while a substantial 53% indicated a lack of confidence.

 “These findings reveal concerning trends for independent retailers, reflecting the challenges they’ve navigated during the festive season and into the new year”

Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre

Shop owners cited various challenges, with one mentioning that “Black Friday deals significantly affected Christmas sales”. Another noted that it was the “worst Christmas in 15 years based on historical data,” revealing the struggles faced by indies during the festive season.

Retailers expressed concerns about lacklustre performance, with one shop owner sharing that on the Monday before Christmas, their business only generated £30 in sales. Others described the month as “very flat, with no atmosphere, and poor footfall”.

Proprietors pointed to various factors contributing to their apprehension, including the cost-of-living crisis leading people to be more reserved in their spending.

Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “These findings reveal concerning trends for independent retailers, reflecting the challenges they’ve navigated during the festive season and into the new year. At Bira, we are actively engaged in lobbying the government, using this valuable data to underscore the urgent need for measures that boost consumer confidence on our high streets. 

“Our focus is on reinvigorating local spending and creating a vibrant retail landscape. As we eagerly anticipate the Spring Budget, which is just a few days away, we hope it brings forth initiatives that strengthen the backbone of our communities – the independent businesses that make our high streets unique.”

www.bira.co.uk

HKTDC

Receive the latest news to your inbox

Read our privacy policy
for more info.

Exclusively Show 2024