// Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre calls for retailers to adopt a hybrid working model
// The hybrid model expects to lower the threat of declining consumer confidence
The chief executive of an independent retail association has urged retailers to consider adopting a hybrid business model in order to lower the risk of declining consumer confidence.
Bira chief executive Andrew Goodacre said retailers are facing the threat of low consumer confidence due to the pandemic and new variants.
With more restrictions being announced and the Christmas sales season, retailers are fearful of facing further restrictions in January.
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“The official retail sales figures for October and November were positive and I am sure that many retailers were looking forward to December with a high degree of optimism,” Goodacre said.
“Then Omicron was announced and it has completely ‘burst that bubble’ of Christmas cheer.
“Bira has recognised the challenge faced by independents who want to add an extra sales channel to their business but are not sure how to do it or how to make it profitable.
“With uncertainly about January and potential closures, now is the time to start looking at options to still do business and engage with your local community – and wider opportunities.”
“The result of the last 20 months is the rise of the ‘hybrid retailer’ – a shop with good internet presence. We have also seen an increase in local shopping. Even if shops are not closed, the general message to the public is to be cautious and that will lead to more online shopping.”