A study commissioned by the British Retail Consortium has found that the costs of running a retail business have grown by 21 per cent – £20 billion in total – in the last seven years.
Unfortunately in the same period, retail sales values rose by just 12 per cent, which the BRC warns could force store closures and hurt job creation.
As a result, the BRC is calling on Government ministers to introduce measures to help support retail.
These include, im[proving consumer confidence by introducing the £10,000 personal allowance, freezing business rates, reduce regulation, apply a ‘growth test’ to all proposed regulations in future, introduce a National Insurance ‘holiday’ for companies that hire young people, implement the recommendations made by the Portas Review and improve parking for town centres.
“Retail is a major force for good. It’s the UK’s largest private sector jobs provider and has been a powerhouse for investment and growth, even during the relentlessly tough times of the last few years,” said the BRC’s director general, Helen Dickinson.
“The Chancellor has the opportunity to improve the business environment as a way of re-establishing and maximising retail’s essential contribution to recovery. We’re setting out priorities to help achieve that most effectively.”