After statistics revealed the slowest growth in retail sales since April 2017 over January 2018, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry, said:
“Rising costs, surging business rates and slow domestic growth are all weighing on small retailers. One in three expects their business performance to worsen over the first quarter of this year. More than a third see flagging consumer demand as a barrier to growth and a quarter are concerned about labour costs.
“Food sales have understandably dropped given the impact that a persistently weak pound is having on spending power. But it’s good to see spending on sports equipment up as small business owners and their employees invest more in personal wellbeing.
“There are further challenges on the horizon for small retailers. As a labour-intensive industry, small firms in this sector will find it hard to absorb the doubling of mandatory auto-enrolment contributions from April. At the same time, they’ll be impacted by a rise in the national living wage.”