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Impact of inflation could force Sudbury boutique business BiNibabies to close less than year after opening



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The impact of inflation has left a Sudbury small business fearful that it 'will not survive another two months', if the current rate of decline in sales continues.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced yesterday that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) for the UK rose by 9.1 per cent, in the year to May 2022.

The increase is the highest recorded 12-month inflation rate since the office began collecting data annually 25 years ago.

BiNibabies opened a permanent shop in Sudbury last year. Owner Nikki Collier is pictured. Picture by Mark Westley
BiNibabies opened a permanent shop in Sudbury last year. Owner Nikki Collier is pictured. Picture by Mark Westley

Estimates of historic price inflation indicate that the CPI has not risen at such a rate since 1982, contributing to the growing cost-of-living crisis that is crippling the nation.

Food prices, fuel costs and energy bills have all risen in recent months, which has placed a squeeze on both household finances and small businesses.

One of those affected is Sudbury-based baby and toddler store BiNibabies & Kids Boutique, which warned that its future is at risk, less than a year after its permanent opening in the town.

BiNibabies opened a permanent shop after a successful pop-up earlier in 2021. Picture by Mark Westley
BiNibabies opened a permanent shop after a successful pop-up earlier in 2021. Picture by Mark Westley

The boutique business, which offers children’s clothing, accessories and everyday childcare items, opened in Gaol Lane in September, following a positive response to a temporary pop-up shop that had operated over the summer.

However, owner Nikki Collier warned that the effect of inflation is now proving to be even more damaging to trade than the Covid-19 pandemic, and that small businesses like hers could not compete with high street chains.

“I’ve seen a 60 per cent drop in both online and footfall sales and inflation is almost certainly the cause,” she said.

“At this rate, I will not survive another two months.

The business owner says she's seen a 60 per cent drop in both online and footfall sales, and she believes inflation is the cause. Picture by Mark Westley
The business owner says she's seen a 60 per cent drop in both online and footfall sales, and she believes inflation is the cause. Picture by Mark Westley

“I’ve survived Covid, to now be hit with this, which is far worse.

“Sometimes, I wonder what is the point for us little shops.

“Everyone says shop local, but too many local shops can’t compete with the big brands, who can afford to lower their prices to reel customers in.”