Petrol prices and the rising cost of raw materials are likely to cause more problems for retailers and their customers than the increase in VAT, according to one Uckfield trader.
Mark Arno, of Carvills, said, as an example, that the price of cotton had increased by 150 per cent and would have an impact across a range of goods stocked by the High Street store such as furnishings, fabrics and linings.
Fuel prices were a worry too because the majority of Carvills products were delivered by road.
By comparison, said Mr Arno, the VAT increase, from 17½% to 20% was a lesser problem, though where people were buying bigger items the impact would be greater.
Mr Arno talked about the VAT increase during an interview for our January Personal Shopper feature which offers shopping tips for the future.