The industry is bracing itself for a 6% increase in the national minimum wage to £5.35, expected to be announced within the next two weeks.
The Low Pay Commission made a final recommendation to the government last week, widely thought to be in line with proposals to raise the minimum wage from £5.05 to £5.35 in October. However, Kevin Hawkins, director general of the British Retail Consortium, said: “It’s not published yet, so there’s a glimmer of hope. It’s already gone up 20% since 2003 - a big jump for small businesses.”