Retail round-up: Austin Reed creditors to suffer big losses, Britain’s top retail groups demand rate cut, Amazon tests delivery drones

Austin Reed creditors to suffer big losses after retailer's collapse

Austin Reed creditors are set to face huge losses following the retailer’s collapse, The Telegraph reported. The creditors will be left to share just £600,000 from the failed company.

Documents filed at Companies House by the administrators for Austin Reed, Alix Partners, shows that the fashion retailer owes its unsecured creditors £30.2m. However, only around 2p in the pound is expected to be paid to them.

Britain’s top retail groups demand urgent cut in business rates

The UK's leading retail groups, representing more than 100,000 shops and other businesses, have written to Chancellor George Osborne demanding a reduction in business rates to make the country more competitive, The Telegraph reported. 

The groups want the Government to accelerate the change from basing the rate on the retail price index to the consumer price index. They are also calling for the rating system to incentivise investment and to be simpler for small businesses.

The groups that wrote to the Chancellor include the British Chambers of Commerce, the British Retail Consortium, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, the Association of Convenience Stores and the Federation of Small Businesses.

Amazon rumoured to be testing delivery drones in the UK

The Daily Mail has reported that Amazon has a secret drone testing facility somewhere in the UK, according to David Buchmueller, co-founder of Amazon's Prime Air operation. 

"We have drone development centres right here in the UK, in the United States, in Austria and in Israel," he said.

"These are places where we have dedicated indoor facilities. But we also have outdoor testing facilities. In fact, our largest outdoor facility is right here in the UK."

Bad weather spurs fashion retailers to slash prices

UK retailers including Debenhams and Marks & Spencer have reported a decline in sales as customers remained indoors during the wettest June on record, the Daily Mail reported.

In order to lure them back, fashion retailers have slashed their prices by 70% or more this summer, compared with the 40% to 50% that is usual at this time of year.