New research has found 75% of international retailers would expand elsewhere rather than the UK because of a number of perceived barriers, the most significant being business rates.
The survey, commissioned by shopping centre owner Intu and retail property organisation Revo, found that international retailers saw the UK as attractive across 36 factors including its economic growth rate, approach to labour relations, low corporate tax rate and digital infrastructure. But the 130 respondents, which together are responsible for £1.5 trillion sales, said one of the biggest barriers to UK expansion is the UK’s business rates regime.
“This research further confirms our long=held view that government needs to review the entire structure of business rates, which is currently a disincentive for inward investment and makes the UK uncompetitive,” said Intu chief executive David Fischel.
The authors of the report are calling for further government help to promote the UK to international retailers, address issues relating to planning and provide more help to navigate the complex legislative and wider regulatory landscape.
The full report will be launched at parliament later today.