THE RETAIL BULLETIN - The home of retail news
HOME
Department Stores
Electricals
Entertainment
Fashion
Food & Drink
General Merchandise
Health & Beauty
Home & DIY
Interviews
Newsletter
Property
Shopping Centres & Retail Parks
Sports & Leisure
RETAIL INSIGHTS
RETAIL SOLUTIONS
• Omnichannel Futures Conference 2020
• Future of Retail Marketing 2020
• The HR Summit 2020
• AI in Retail Conference 2019
ABOUT
CONTACT
SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE
London’s West End retailers call for online tax to solve business rate inequality

New West End Company, the organisation that represents over 600 retailers, hoteliers and property owners in London’s West End, has urged the Government to implement a… View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

London’s West End retailers call for online tax to solve business rate inequality

New West End Company, the organisation that represents over 600 retailers, hoteliers and property owners in London’s West End, has urged the Government to implement a business rate reform plan which its says would eliminate the inequality that exists between high street and online retailers.

The organisation has called for the introduction of a revenue based tax to replace business rates for online businesses. Its figures suggest that a 1% tax placed on online business revenues could raise £5 billion each year with the sum being used to cut business rates by an average 17.5% at no cost to the Treasury.

According to the British Retail Consortium, retailers account for 6% of GDP but pay 26% of business rates. In addition, New West End Company’s figures show that last year’s rates revaluation saw business rates for West End stores rise by an average of 80%, with some shops experiencing an increase of over 130%.

The new proposals, which come from a report commissioned by New West End Company from Arup and local government expert Professor Tony Travers, recommend replacing business rates with a revenue based tax for businesses that are wholly or largely online.

New West End Company said high street retailers, restaurants and bars, which typically use larger store spaces in prime locations, would benefit most from the new proposals. The new tax would apply only to businesses that are wholly or largely online so that high street retailers with a strong online presence would not be taxed twice.

Sir Peter Rogers, chairman of New West End Company, said: “Business rates are currently the biggest tax that high street retailers pay, accounting for nearly half [45%] of retailers tax bill. The current structure of business rates, whereby they are linked to the value of occupied property, not economic performance, provides online retailers with an unfair advantage and a 90% rate discount in an already struggling bricks and mortar retail environment.”

He added: “London’s West End is a major contributor to the UK economy with retailers generating over £9 billion in sales a year and employing over 80,000 people, if we do not act now we damage the ability of those business to survive and continue to drive our economy.” 

During the next few months, New West End Company, whose members include Selfridges, Marks and Spencer and Fenwick’s, will ask the Chancellor to consider the proposal in his Autumn Budget.

 

Email this article to a friend

You need to be logged in to use this feature.

Please log in here

Subscribe For Retail News

RETAIL EVENTS

Omnichannel Futures Conference 2020
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2020
5 February 2020
Cavendish Conference Centre, 22 Duchess Mews, London WG1 9DT
A truly omnichannel offering requires an understanding of customer behaviour across all shopping channels and how this should impact your overall business strategy
Future of Retail Marketing 2020
Future of Retail Marketing 2020
9 June 2020
Hallam Conference Centre, London W1W 6JJ
The Future of Retail Marketing for Customer Engagement
The HR Summit 2020
The HR Summit 2020
1 October 2020
Hallam Conference Centre, London W1W 6JJ
Company values, collaboration with employees and driving a major HR transformation to create a truly omnichannel experience, need to be at the heart of the organisation's culture and brand
AI in Retail Conference 2019
AI in Retail Conference 2019
14 October 2020
Hallam Conference Center, 44 Hallam Street, London W1W 6JJ
CONFERENCE AIMED AT RETAILERS WORKING IN MARKETING, IT, DIGITAL, DATA AND TECHNOLOGY