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Retailers miss out in mini-Budget

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has expressed its disappointment that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s mini-Budget does not directly help retail business owners.

The new measures to support economic recovery announced by the Chancellor yesterday (July 8) include a stamp duty holiday on purchases of new homes of up to £500,000; a job retention bonus scheme; a £2bn emergency package to prevent youth unemployment; and a 50% off voucher scheme for participating outlets in the hospitality sector.

Above: Bira’s ceo Andrew Goodacre.
Above: Bira’s ceo Andrew Goodacre.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s ceo commented: “We welcome the various initiatives to bring younger people into work and the support for the hospitality sector. However, it is disappointing that there is no VAT cut for retailers in general and no changes to national insurance.”

He warned: “There needs to be thought given to how consumer demand is stimulated on the high street or many businesses will close and jobs lost.”

Recognising that retailers will be feeling “left out”, Thomas Brereton, retail analyst at GlobalData highlighted that the “core issue” for non-essential retail is  “crippled consumer confidence.”

However, Thomas recognises some “side-effects for retail from the announcements,” including a footfall boost for high streets and shopping centres from the he “Eat out to help out” hospitality scheme. He also predicts that: “the temporary reduction in stamp duty will help furniture and homewares retailers a little.”

Thomas calls for the Chancellor to “urgently reconsider providing greater relief for retailers, through some combination of lower business rates, VAT rate reductions, discount stimulus packages and prolonged assistance with furloughed staff.”


Top: Trade bodies and retail analysts are calling for Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) to help create more demand for non-food retailers.

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