Wholesalers have joined independent retailers in their condemnation of this week’s rise in the national minimum wage.
Key figures in both sectors believe that they will be among those most badly impacted on by the rise from £4.85 an hour to £5.05 for adults. The rate for 18-21 year olds has risen from £4.10 to £4.25.
The Grocer’s reader panel of leading wholesalers shows that 89% of major operators felt the minimum wage hike would hit their businesses disproportionately compared to the major multiples.
One wholesaler said: “Costs are rising significantly faster than incomes with the resultant negative impact on net profitability levels. We must remain competitive with rates above the national minimum wage and therefore are forced to reduce costs in other areas where possible or find new sources of income.”
Another wholesaler said that the industry was not able to cope with the wage hike because sales were not growing fast enough to absorb this and other costs.
>>p33 When the pay pinches