As the general election gets under way retailers face the possibility of yet more pressure on profits.

Labour will reportedly increase corporation tax from 19% at the moment to 26% by 2020/21, assuming it wins.

The retail industry and its investors are already bearing the burden of a raft of cost increases, from business rates to wages, and now face handing over a bigger cut of profits.

As such big employers and contributors to the health of high streets and the development of digital skills, most retailers already – without resentment – play their part as good corporate citizens.

Further pressure in a highly competitive environment is unwelcome and risks, if not killing the goose that lays a golden egg, giving it a severe case of lurgy.

And the carefree way in which such measures are proposed is not unique to Labour – big, for which often read successful, businesses are increasingly in the firing line from politicians of the right as well as the left.

As the election campaign heats up the industry needs to make its voice heard to ensure its value to society does not go unrecognised.

Also today we write about how the vacancy rate for retail warehousing has fallen to its lowest level for almost two decades – a sign that bricks and mortar has by no means yet been superseded by online.

And we take a look at a group of staff whose ambassadorial role for the companies they work for are often overlooked – delivery drivers.

Quote of the day

A bold new West End is needed to cope with increased demand for our world-class retail and leisure offer”

New West End Company chief executive Jace Tyrrell

Today in numbers


Retail warehousing vacancy rate – the lowest since 2001 according to Trevor Wood Associates.

Wednesday’s agenda

Tomorrow one of retail’s greatest contemporary entrepreneurs, John Roberts, will be coming into Retail Week to guest-edit an edition. He’ll be taking part in a social media Q&A at midday. Please do join in – the hashtag is #AskJohnRoberts.

Also tomorrow, fashion retailer SuperGroup releases its year-end trading update.

George MacDonald, executive editor, Retail Week