It is too politically sensitive to raise VAT (despite being under the EU average) and there would be very little support for it from the public or political parties, despite it merits.
There was a comment made this week in The Times, from somebody not involved in the retail Industry which went along the lines of 'Why should the government bail out a fading Industry? If people wanted to use shops they would, but they don't want to in increasing numbers.'
This sobering view I hear with increasing frequency. The man in the street thinks physical retail is dead and sees little point in throwing money at it, whether from government or private finance.
I've stated what some smaller business should do on here before. Move to secondary or tertiary locations, some which are under the rateable threshold. A step backwards to step forwards you could say. Less footfall, but you would not have the high expenses that can drag a business down.
Comment on: Footfall down as shoppers avoid high street
Consumers are using the High Street less and less and will continue to do so. If they wanted to use the Hight Street, they would. Councils should fast track plans to turn more of it into housing and/or recreational space - where appropriate - as it is never going to get better for retailers or landlords and many need a way out, even if the penny hasn't quite dropped yet.
Comment on: House of Fraser suppliers back premium revamp
Ashley is now claiming to do what HoF should have done many years ago, as it was always a pseudo Premium store and never a bone-fide one. That said, much depends on what brands are going to play ball.
However retail is moving so fast that I'm pretty sure that the number quoted here of 31 is a tad optimistic, even if the stores are significancy downsized in relation to the current ones.
Targeting 'age 30' in reality means 35-50, as you true market is always (much) older than for what you aim for. In essence that will be no bad thing, as the vast majority of 30 year olds do not earn enough money to make Fraser's viable.
Will be very interesting to see if the concept has a future in the 2020's.
Comment on: Will Debenhams' CVA save the retailer?
The short answer is no. Their plans aren't serious and is all part of the end game as I'm sure their more savvy suppliers have noted.
As for them losing credibility, you have to have credibility to lose it in the first place.
As I've posted elsewhere, CVA's do not make bad retailers become good ones and you can now add Debenhams to the pot.
Comment on: Select to collapse into administration this week
An outsider looking in would regard the clothing industry today as a directionless affair with little businesses acumen in too many cases. Every other week it is yet another administration of one form or another, to the point where it is almost becoming, dare I say, fashionable.
So much so in fact that Drapers should seriously be considering a 'Administration/CVA of the Year' prize at their awards ceremony, where the winners can gloat about how much wool they've pulled over the publics eyes and how much money they've shafted their suppliers.
Nobody is ever willing to take personal responsibility for their failings, with the usual comments about 'challenging conditions' and 'change of consumer habits' are trotted out as the only factors.
While those two reasons have genuine merit, nobody mentions the often appalling management that has lead these companies to hit the buffers, with the inevitable administration and start-up process where the often overpaid, under skilled and over promoted management continue to chew from the rotting carcass until there is absolutely nothing left. They will then be rewarded for the ineptitude by getting another 'gig' at another brand or retailer where they can do it all again.
CVA's don't make bad retailers become good ones. But if the law allows this to happen, then who really is to blame?
Cynical or reality? You decide.