What do you think will be the most effective way to offset the cost of the National Living Wage?

Retailers calculating how they will balance the books after the introduction of the National Living Wage say increasing prices to offset the cost would be a “last resort”.

The comments came after Londis brand director John Pattison told Retail Newsagent that retailers must start now to plan savings before 1 April 2016, when the law comes into force.

Jatinder Sahota, of Max’s Londis in Kent, has already reduced operational costs. He said: “We are price-conscious and are always aware of the competition. Good offers attract repeat customers, so increasing prices is a last resort. Retailers need to think outside of the box for other solutions.”

Mace retailer Ram Odedra, in Whissendine, said: “I am looking at juggling staff. I am not looking at increasing prices because I have to stay competitive.”

In Retail Newsagent’s most recent poll, 31% of retailers said they would reduce operational costs to offset the cost of the National Living Wage, while 23% said they would cut staff. A further 23% said they would reduce staff hours and 23% said they would consider increasing prices.

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