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BRC launches A Vision for the UK Retail Industry manifesto

Nov '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has launched its election manifesto, ‘A Vision for the UK Retail Industry’, which sets out how the next government should support the industry’s transformation driven by new technology and changing consumer behaviour. The UK retail industry accounts for 5 per cent of the economy and contributes £98.4 billion gross value added.

The key priorities outlined in the manifesto are to relieve the business rates burden by scrapping ‘downwards transition’, which takes £1.3 billion from retailers every five years; reform the apprenticeship levy to allow greater flexibility to spend on any form of accredited training; and protect hardworking shop workers by bringing forward legislation to safeguard the 115 retail workers who are attacked every day, according to a BRC press release.

Last year alone, £1 billion was invested into research and development as well as a further £1.1 billion into new technologies. At the same time, the industry has faced high rates of store closures and job losses and the 12-month average retail sales growth currently sits at just 0.1 per cent, the lowest on record. The next government must do more if retail is to be the vision of success it sets out to be.

The retail industry pays its way, generating £17 billion in business taxes and driving 5.1 per cent productivity growth across the industry compared to just 0.5 per cent in the United Kingdom as a whole.

The manifesto outlines the BRC’s recommendations for a comprehensive, cross-government strategy for retail, as well as measures to reform funding for digital skills, and to tackle both in-store crime and online fraud. Action must be taken to promote investment and allow the industry to fulfil its vision of success, BRC added.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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