Retailers in central London face “a hammering” financially as a result of the revaluation of business rates revealed on Friday.
Some of the best-known retail names in the capital face eye-watering increases following the new rateable valuations of England’s 1.85million commercial properties.
However high streets in the North and Midlands are winners, according to analysis by business rates specialist Gerald Eve.
Some retailers on London’s Bond Street, such as Victoria’s Secret, face an increase of 80%.
However in locations in the Northwest such as Bolton, Oldham and Rochdale, retailers are likely to benefit from drops in rates of between 39% and 56%.
“For those retailers seeing big decreases, the new valuations illustrate just how out-of-kilter recent rates bills have been for those struggling the most, highlighting how the worst-affected high streets have been subsidising their better off counterparts for some time”
Jerry Schurder, head of business rates, Gerald Eve
Gerald Eve head of business rates Jerry Schurder said: “These huge swings in rates liabilities put into sharp focus the differing fortunes of retailers across the country, with many now facing punitive rises or much-anticipated falls.
“Those seeing massive increases have just six months to work out how they will meet these new bills, with an obvious potential impact on jobs and the disposal of unviable locations.
“For those retailers seeing big decreases, the new valuations illustrate just how out-of-kilter recent rates bills have been for those struggling the most, highlighting how the worst-affected high streets have been subsidising their better off counterparts for some time.”
Upset over transitional relief proposals
London retailers also reacted with dismay to transitional relief proposals.
New West End Company chairman Sir Peter Rogers said: “The options being put forward for transitional relief are extremely disappointing and will be catastrophic for West End businesses which will now have minimal time to adjust to the disproportionate business rate rises of up to 80%.
“The suggested options will not lighten the burden and retailer profits will be hit by up to 25% in a fragile post-Brexit economy, leading to reduced investment and job losses around the UK.
“We maintain that transitional relief should see any rate rise capped at 12.5%, which would significantly ease the impact of the rise for businesses during an uncertain time.”