SME retailers showing resilience

Over half of the UK's SME retailers remained open throughout December's extreme weather conditions, according to a survey conducted by small business telecom and broadband specialist XLN Telecom. This follows the announcement by the British Retail Consortium that sales in January were up 2.3% on last year.

57% of the 174 small retailers questioned cited that they remained open throughout the entire period, whilst 54% suffered no loss in staff attendance as a result of the poor weather.  

The survey also revealed the importance of personal contact for small retailers, with 75% of those surveyed counting face-to-face contact as vital to the running of their businesses.  

The results also highlight the impact of shutting up shop on turnover: 39% lost between 500 and 1000 for each day of lost trading and 17% calculated this to be over 1000.

XLN's founder and managing director, Christian Nellemann, commented: "Despite the effect of the adverse weather on the UK's economy and transport infrastructure, our survey demonstrates the committed resolve of small retailers in ensuring normal service is upheld.

"At a time when small retailers risk losing out to larger players, who are more readily able to offset the increase in VAT, their resilience in the face of poor weather conditions is commendable. Government should provide the support needed in 2011 to preserve growth and mobility."

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