Business rates relief will be welcome but it’s not a win for all retailers

Paul is KPMG’s UK Head of Retail.

Paul is KPMG’s UK Head of Retail.

Commenting on the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget from a retail perspective, Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said:

“The issue of business rates has weighed heavily on the minds of retailers for far too long. For some retailers, business rates account for up to 50% of their property costs – comparatively higher than other sectors. This means business rates relief combined with fairer and more transparent valuations will be most welcome. Having said that, not all retailers have felt the pain equally - whether it be the large variation in the burden between physical and online retailers or between those big and small. With the 50% business rates relief capped at only £110,000, the Chancellor’s announcement is only a win for smaller players, leaving large legacy retailers who are most likely to have excess physical space with the same old headache.

“Levelling the playing field between physical and online retail appears to have been saved for another day, with the Government still weighing up the pros and cons of introducing an online sales tax. Retailers might not have the luxury of time though. After an 18 month roller-coaster the future outlook remains challenging and will see business models tested to the extreme, especially as we head into the busy Christmas trading period.”




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About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 21 offices across the UK with approximately 16,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.3 billion in the year ended 30 September 2020.

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