Independent retailers were left battling a fresh raft of cost increases last week, after hikes in National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) came into force, alongside an energy price cap rise.
After being announced in the 2021 Spring Budget, NLW increased to £9.50 from 1 April – equating to an extra £1,000 a year for a full-time worker. In addition, the NMW for people aged 21-to-22 has gone up from £8.36 to £9.18 per hour, with increases to £6.83 for 18-to-20-yearolds, and £4.81 for 16-to-17- year-olds.
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Elsewhere, on the same day, stores experienced an energy price cap increase of nearly £700 a year. The day before, suppliers, including British Gas, SSE, E.ON and EDF, all reported website crashes as users logged in to submit their readings ahead of the hike.