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    Retail bodies express concern for smaller independent retailers over rising inflation

    (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

    Retail bodies have expressed concern over the unexpected leap of consumer prices index (CPI) of 10.1 per cent in January to 10.4 per cent with rising prices in drinks, clothing, meals out and fresh food being claimed as being the main driver.The Office of National Statistics (ONS) also has said that the cost of non-alcoholic drinks and food have risen by 18 per cent in the past year, which is also the highest rate since 1977.

    The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) has said today’s inflation rate surprise of 10.4 per cent is adding unnecessary pressure to the high street and traders will be hit hard.Andrew Goodacre, CEO of BIRA said that 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 per cent (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 from businesses before cheaper prices have been implemented will fuel inflation in the future,” he said.
    Responding to the latest CPI inflation figures, Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that food remained one of the strongest contributors to overall inflation as the high price of animal feed and fertiliser has driven up the price of many staples, while the weaker pound made importing products such as vegetables from Europe more expensive.”
    “While inflation is expected subside later this year, prices are likely to remain elevated as the higher costs throughout supply chains become baked in. Retailers are committed to doing everything they can to keep the price of essentials low through expanding value ranges and offering discounts for vulnerable groups.
    “Against this backdrop, the government must do more to limit one of the biggest drags to retail investment, which is oncoming regulatory burdens heading down the track, or risk a crash in business investment and further inflationary pressures.”

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