Mon, 27th Aug 2018
Retailers in Scotland have come together to call for tax breaks to help offset the decline of the industry. The Scottish Retail Consortium says that a combination of increasing costs, pressure on household budgets, and the rise of online shopping has put pressure on the industry.
The consortium is asking ministers to freeze business rates, scrap a levy on out-of-town and online retailers, and also rule out increases to income tax. The government says that it will do what it can to help struggling rtailers.
The consortium highlighted a number of changes that are affecting firms, as part of a letter that it sent to the finance secretary, Derek Mackay, ahead of the coming budget. Consortium director David Lonsdale said that the retail industry is going through a period of transition, and that changing consumer behaviour, evolving technology, rising costs and constricted household incomes are creating a perfect storm for the industry. I is a tough time to be a retailer, and it is hard to predict the future for the industry.
Keeping costs low is just one part of the equation. Retailers also need to grow the economy, and to encourage consumer spending. The retail industry as a whole, across the UK, has been struggling with many major brands asking for CVAs and breaks from their landlords, in order to keep trading. Some retailers have had shareholder bailouts, and numerous others are now in administration, as discretionary spending budgets fall and more shopping moves online.