Chris Biddle is joined by Andrew Goodacre, Chief Executive of the British Independent Retailers Association (bira) for an an episode recorded the day that England entered a second national lockdown of 2020, a decision which Andrew describes as his greatest disappointment of the year to-date.
With so many 'bricks and mortar' retailers having to close for 3 months during the first lockdown, but with a partial recovery underway, he says that many independent retailers were banking on making up lost ground in the run-up to Christmas. "This will mean that many small businesses will have had to close for four months this year".
He questioned the decision to open garden centres who focus almost exclusively on Christmas related products rather than gardening at this time of the year, giving an unfair advantage over many small shops.
However he praised the ingenuity and innovative moves by many independent retailers 'to go the customers who couldn't go to them'. "But there is still much to do, around 80% of independent retailers have websites, but only 25% have transactional facilities built in"