The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the UK retail sector, as tipped by Retail Week this morning.

It is understood the inquiry will examine the impact of business rates on the sector as the Select Committee, which is chaired by Adrian Bailey MP for West Bromwich West, wants retailers to submit evidence on regulations and costs affecting them.

Retail Week and the British Retail Consortium have been lobbying the Government to freeze business rates this year through the Fair Rates for Retail campaign. Retailers face an additional £175m rates bill in April when a 2.6% increase hits.

The Select Committee has also called for evidence on the implementation of the department’s action points arising from last year’s retail strategy document, progress on the Portas Review, the impact of online sales on the high street, as well as the skills needed for a successful retail industry. .

Retailers will need to submit evidence by Monday April 15.

British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson said: “This is a positive step which comes at a crucial time for retailers, as the sector continues to face economic challenges while evolving and innovating to meet changing consumer needs. 

“It’s the right time to be considering the nature of these challenges and structural changes, and exploring what more the Government can do to support retailers both now and in the future. 

“The right support will enable the sector to maximise its contribution to growth, investment and job creation.”

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