Retail braced for ‘worst Christmas since Woolworths collapsed’

John Lewis Oxford Street London United Kingdom Christmas 2017

Retail is bracing itself for the toughest Christmas in a decade as Brexit uncertainty, high property taxes and deep discounting grip the market just two weeks into the golden quarter.

The chair of one national retailer told The Mail on Sunday that 2019 would be “the worst Christmas since Woolworths collapsed” back in 2008, as the perfect storm takes its toll on businesses.

Retailers had been set to receive some respite on business rates, but legislation designed to ensure that the amount paid by bricks and mortar operators was reassessed every three years, rather than five, failed to make it through Parliament last week.

Had the bill been passed, retailers in certain locations could have had their rates cut significantly in 2021.

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