While independent retailers in the UK reported a fifth successive quarter of positive trading there were signs of growth beginning to slow.
The quarterly survey carried out by the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) reported that more respondents reported an increase in turnover than at any point in the survey’s history, the average growth fell to its lowest level this year, 1.33% compared to 2.35% in the mid-year period.
Six out of ten of the surveyed businesses grew with four out of ten on the decline. Scotland and Wales led the way on growth, followed closely by the Midlands and East Anglia. Three quarters of the independent retailers survey report being confident going into the year ahead.
Over half of respondents reported that the introduction of the National Living Wage was likely to reduce the number of jobs they sustain by the time it breaches £9 an hour in 2020.
However more than seven out of ten businesses reported opposing plans to devolve powers over extended Sunday trading hours to local authorities.