Race to net-zero harming independent retailers, warns BIRA

The British Independent Retail Association (BIRA) has warned that the race to net-zero emissions could be harming independent retailers.  

The association said that measures such as removing car parking spaces and increasing high street pedestrianisation is having a negative impact on sales. 

According to BIRA, case studies have been carried out in Perth, Harrogate and Shaftesbury identifying the damage that net-zero regulations are doing to stores.   

It said that it supports net-zero measures and is in favour of helping its members become more sustainable. 

READ MORE: Southern Co-op rolls out F1 technology across stores

However, it also said it fears that retail is not being considered in new high street development plans.  

The organisation further identified the increase in cycle paths as a barrier to new businesses, claiming that accessibility is reduced, and shops will consequently be bypassed by consumers.  

“As part of Covid restrictions we experienced traffic reduction schemes and ad hoc pedestrianisation – all resulting in less parking and less access to the high streets,” BIRA chief executive Andrew Goodacre said.  

“On the one side such plans may encourage people to come to town for a coffee, but it is difficult to carry shopping home on a bike. 

“We need planners to talk to retailers about the plans and share ideas for reducing carbon whilst retaining use of the high streets for everyone.” 

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Independent retailersSustainability

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