Most indie retailers to boycott this year’s Black Friday, reveals Bira poll

Dave Buonaguidi

A survey conducted by the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has revealed that 86 per cent of independent retailers will not be participating in tomorrow’s Black Friday. The figure is similar to three years ago, when 85 per cent of those surveyed boycotted the discounting event.

The poll also revealed that 69 per cent of indie owners feel Black Friday has a ‘negative impact’ on the high street. Around two thirds (67 per cent) said they had not previously participated.

Bira, which works with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, ran the survey to highlight how the majority of small retailers are standing against Black Friday. The mass decision to boycott the event comes amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.

CEO Andrew Goodacre comments: “The results speak for themselves, that this has been consistent from our independent traders for the past three years, and no doubt will continue. It’s not about our shops lacking competitive pricing, but rather a strategic move to support the high street and foster economic growth for all.

“From an indie retail perspective, Black Friday is seen as a big business, internet event. This makes it very hard for smaller retailers to compete, lacking the buying power of larger counterparts. In general, independent retailers do not see Black Friday as an opportunity.”

Many indie retailers are participating in alternative events this year such as Colour Friday, launched by Holly Tucker MBE, which focuses on celebrating the creativity and colour that small businesses bring.

Bira also recently held a nationwide event called #LoveYourHighStreetWeek  to help celebrate and champion local communities to support their high streets and support independent retail.

Goodacre adds: “Our independent retailers really are the beating heart of Britain, as they can offer so much more than prices that seem low but perhaps aren’t as good a deal as they at first appear. Our traders can give an array of goods, from everyday essentials to unique, one-of-a-kind finds and we want people to support that.”

Bira is at the forefront of championing the cause of independent traders and shopkeepers across Britain. With a dedicated focus on revitalising and preserving the high street, it relentlessly campaigns and takes the industry’s collective voice to the halls of Parliament and into discussions with key stakeholders.

Its campaigns cover a wide spectrum of issues crucial to the success of independent traders, from combatting the rising tide of retail crime to advocating for changes in legislation that promote fairness and flexibility.