Independent retailers considering retirement are being forced to continue working because their properties won't fetch the prices they had hoped.

Their plight has been highlighted by The Grocer's latest telephone survey, which also indicated that 75% of independents who rent their shops either face rises or had suffered recent hikes.

"I have thought about selling," said one shop owner. "The trouble is, it's worth next to nothing compared with a few years ago." Others made similar comments.

Independents were divided about whether they agreed with the BRC's campaign for retail rent payments to be made every month rather than every quarter. A total of 44% of retailers were happy with the quarterly system, while 56% favoured the BRC's proposal for a monthly system.