The BRC believes the increase to£5.35 in October could lead to the loss of 35,000 jobs and create an additional cost of£1.13 billion for the retail sector.
According to BRC director-general Kevin Hawkins, retailers have to absorb big cost increases in other areas. 'It is crucial that in this uncertain retail climate, future increases in the national minimum wage are kept at a level that businesses can afford,' he said.
In a recent BRC survey on the impact of the national minimum wage, submitted to the Low Pay Commission in evidence, 11 per cent of the retailers surveyed said they would consider job cuts if the proposed 6 per cent increase to£5.35 goes ahead in October next year. The survey also claimed that the rise to£5.05 has already cost retailers£1.21 billion.