The 2.5% National Minimum Wage increase which came into affect on Saturday will make it harder for retailers to maintain and create jobs, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has warned.
The rise takes the adult minimum wage from £5.93 an hour to £6.08.
The BRC had previously urged the Low Pay Commission to recommend a lower rise, as latest figures show customers buying less and retail job numbers down on a year ago.
Director general Stephen Robertson said: "Supporting jobs in the current climate is essential. Whilst most retail jobs pay above minimum wage, increases inevitably push up salaries across the board and make it harder for companies to maintain and expand their workforces.
"The retail sector has a long record of jobs growth but the latest figures show a fall. Retail employment cannot be taken for granted. Retail employs nearly 3m people and a third of our staff are 25 or younger. Retailers are offering young people their first step on the career ladder and backing that up with training and development opportunities. In support of those efforts we are asking that next year's minimum wage rise is kept at 2.1% or below."
The organisation also says more notice of decisions is needed to help firms manage their budgets. Currently, businesses are informed of changes just six months before they take effect.