Retailers in central London have been hit the hardest by the government’s changes in rateable values, with some areas jumping by more than 400%.
Rateable values on Dover Street jumped by 400%, while Bond Street and Marylebone High Street both jumped by 100%, analysis from Colliers International shows.
Values on Oxford Street are up 65%, Tottenham Court Road are up 52% while Regent Street is up 39%. Westfield London is up 62%.
Outside London values are set to fall. Shops in Bolton, Oldham and Blackpool are set for drops of up to 56%, while Stockport is 50% down and Rochdale 39%.
John Webber, head of rating at Colliers International, said the changes may force retailers to move out of prime central London locations: “Retailers have a choice to either pass the cost on to the customer, cut costs elsewhere in the business or to shut up shop. Something has to give.
”It is a bombshell for those in central London who are now faced with potentially having to hand the keys back because their rates will be double what they are now in just 18 months’ time. The government should grant greater relief for these increases.”
Sir Peter Rogers, chairman of the New West End Company, which represents occupiers and landlords, said the changes will be “catastrophic” for businesses.
“They now have minimal time to adjust to the disproportionate business rate rises of up to 80%. The suggested options will not lighten the burden and retailer profits will be hit by up to 25% in a fragile post-Brexit economy, leading to reduced investment and job losses around the UK.”
Peter Miller, chief operating afficer for Westfield UK and Europe said: “Business rates and the rating system as a whole needs to be reviewed as a priority to ensure our retailers and the retail industry itself is sustainable for the long-term.”
Tim Attridge, senior director of ratings at CBRE, said: “The latest analysis realises fears of substantial rises in rateable value for many businesses with central London set to be hardest hit. The impact will be intensified given the options put forward for transitional relief, with the previous 12.5% cap now seemingly a luxury in comparison with the government’s preferred option of 45%.”
Jerry Schurder, head of business rates at Gerald Eve, said rates across the UK have been anomalous for some time: “For those retailers seeing big decreases, the new valuations illustrate just how out of kilter recent rates bills have been for those struggling the most, highlighting how the worst-affected high streets have been subsidising their better-off counterparts for some time.
”They should have benefited from lower bills 18 months ago, but the unfair postponement of the 2015 revaluation stretched their pain out for a further two years, and they have every right to question the suitability of a system that has penalised them in this way.”