Retail Association comments on disappointing festive sales figures

Independent Retailers Association says surprise inflation rise of 10.4% will hurt the high street

The British Independent Retailers Association has said today’s inflation rate surprise of 10.4% is adding unnecessary pressure to the high street and traders will be hit hard.

BIRA, which works with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, has reacted to the news that UK inflation rose unexpectedly in February which has meant food prices have surged to their highest rate in 45 years.

The consumer prices index (CPI) have leapt from 10.1% in January to 10.4% – and prices in drinks, clothing, meals out and fresh food being driven high.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) also has said that the cost of non-alcoholic drinks and food have risen by 18% in the past year, which is also the highest rate since 1977.

Andrew Goodacre, CEO of BIRA said: “We are really shocked at this rise and worry for the independents out there who are struggling with rising costs as it is.

“Inflating rising in February is a disappointment and hurts our smaller independent retailers and the high street. Food inflation at 17% ( more than double non-food inflation) is a real concern, because these higher prices for essential item (as with energy) means there is much less money for other disposable income expenditure.

“Removing the energy support form businesses before cheaper prices have been implemented will fuel inflation in the future,” he said.