Minimum Wage Pain For Retailers

BBSA warns of crisis on the high street if minimum wage rises further.

By News Desk
27th November 2007 at 7:47

As the Low Pay Commission begins to consider a new round of Minimum Wage increases for 2008, the British Shops and Stores Association (BSSA) is warning that rises are putting smaller high street retailers out of business.

A report released today by the BSSA, entitled ‘Health of the High Street’, calls for a radical rethink on the way the Minimum Wage is applied, if the UK’s high streets are to continue to prosper.  Already butchers, fishmongers and green grocers have all but disappeared from many high streets.  But, argues the report, spiraling overheads and costs are making it very, very difficult for other independent retailers too.

John Dean, BSSA, chief executive, said:

Key findings within the Report highlight the fading heartbeat of the high street, casting serious doubts as to whether, without some form of intervention, it will be able to continue to play its vitally important socio-economic role within the community in the long term.

No denying it’s tough for retailers, but one suspects the Minimum Wage is not the prime suspect in the death of the high street.  Indeed reports by the Low Pay Commission gathering evidence from sources on both sides of the fence, such as the British Retail Consortium, the CBI and the TUC, suggests it has had relatively little negative impact. 

If you’re looking for the real murderers of the high street, you might be better off looking towards the supermarkets and our own changing shopping habits.

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