15 shops are clos­ing on High Street ev­ery day

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Matt Oliver City Cor­re­spon­dent

RE­TAIL chiefs have re­newed calls for an over­haul of busi­ness rates in the face of 15 shops clos­ing ev­ery day.

They said the £900mil­lion re­lief of­fered by Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond was only a stick­ing plas­ter and wider re­form was needed.

A record 2, 92 shops, super­mar­kets, cafes and other high street busi­nesses shut down in the six months to July – 15 a day. Only 1,5 9 opened, for a net loss of 1,123 shops, ac­cord­ing to con­sul­tants PwC.

Richard Walker, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ice­land, said tra­di­tional re­tail­ers were be­ing ham­mered while on­line gi­ants such as Ama­zon paid ‘peanuts’ in tax.

‘We have an out-of-date tax mech­a­nism that’s only tar­get­ing bricks and mor­tar re­tail­ers,’ said Richard Walker, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ice­land.

‘The on­line be­he­moths are hitch­ing a free ride on our na­tional trans­port in­fra­struc­ture and all the other pub­lic ser­vices.’

Lisa Hooker, a re­tail ex­pert at PwC, said: ‘The tur­moil fac­ing the sec­tor is un­likely to abate. Store clo­sures al­ready an­nounced in the sec­ond half of the year al­ready will fur­ther in­ten­sify the sit­u­a­tion.’

The Mail is cam­paign­ing for a level play­ing field on rates.

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