After the disappointment of the Budget in March this year, efforts by the retail industry to force an overhaul of the business rates regime are once again picking up momentum.

After the disappointment of the Budget in March this year, efforts by the retail industry to force an overhaul of the business rates regime are once again picking up momentum.

On top of comments by high-profile retail leaders calling for change, including Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green, finance chiefs and other representatives of almost 30 retailers, including Boots, met this week with the British Retail Consortium to discuss a plan of attack.

Against a backdrop of further retail administrations and the growing strength of consensus that the system is simply not fit for purpose, the renewed focus is welcome.

However, a simple question remains: how does the industry ensure its latest drive avoids the fate of previous efforts that resulted in retailers walking away empty handed from the corridors of Westminster?

On Monday night, Alastair Campbell, the former communications guru to the Blair Government, addressed an audience of retail leaders at a dinner to celebrate the launch of Retail Week’s 2013 Power List. He challenged the sector to grab its chance to shape Government policy.

Dismissing the notion that special interest groups face a struggle in getting heard, he argued that the key was not only to be clear about objectives but also to understand the Government’s, and then shape an argument accordingly.

Campbell encouraged the industry to unite behind a common cause - making it heartening to hear that, at the BRC summit, divisive arguments around an online sales tax appear to have been shelved.

The implication was clear: with one message and a united voice, the battle to reform rates can still be won.