Retail news round-up on December 7, 2015: High street to see hike in rates bill, Findel investors fear business closure and plastic bags usage down at Tesco.

Business rates bill could be higher in some parts of London

UK high streets are poised for a business rates shake-up in the future, a new study has revealed.

Shops in some parts of London are set for a rise of more than 400%, according to Colliers International.

The research by the property consultant also found 76 out of the main towns and shopping centres will experience an increase in their rates bill.

Business rates will plummet mainly in the Midlands and north of England, with bills in Newport in south Wales falling 80%.

Findel investors worry Mike Ashley planning business closure

Findel shareholders are fearing that Sports Direct’s plan to appoint a director to the board could prompt the owner of Kitbag to collapsing into administration through boardroom influence, The Independent understands.

This could give Mike Ashley the chance to acquire Findel from administrators debt-free.

Ashley’s sportswear retailer is keen on getting Benjamin Gardener as non-executive director, but is facing opposition from Findel’s investors – Toscafund, Schroders and River & Mercantile.

Tesco reports almost 80% drop in use of plastic bags

Tesco said charging 5p for plastic bags has cut their use by 78% in England.

The dramatic drop in the use of single-use carrier bags is 10% more than it had expected when the Government introduced the levy in October.

"We knew the Government's bag charge would encourage our customers to use fewer plastic bags and it's clearly had a huge impact," said the grocer.

French DIY chain weighs up bid for Homebase

French DIY retailer Leroy Merlin is plotting a bid for a high street brand owned by Home Retail Group.

The chain, part of Adeo Group, is understood to have looked at Homebase several times in recent years.

“They have had repeated looks at Homebase but they are quite conservative,” an industry figure said. “They have been very disciplined about building up their network.”