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Frasers Group calls for business rates reform

Frasers Group, formally known as Sports Direct International, has backed the British Retail Consortium’s business rates campaign calling for the government to “significantly modify” the current system.

More than 50 high street retailers have written to the Chancellor calling for urgent action on business rates reform, having lost £500m to transitional relief since 2017. 

Signatories include Debenhams chief executive Stefaan Vansteenkiste, Fenwick chief executive Robbie Feather, New Look CEO Nigel Oddy and Primark chief executive Paul Marchant.

Frasers Group has also joined the campaign, stating: “With the UK high street on life support, the time for reform has long since passed. Transitional relief in particular is disastrous for a great many retailers and needs to be significantly modified to at least ensure the correct amount of rates are paid by the end of transitional relief periods.

“The current system whereby downward transitions of just a few percent a year means that the correct amount is never reached or even close to, punishes those in greatest need of relief.

”Within the Frasers Group itself we have some stores paying up to four times the rates bills they should be. This kind of pattern clearly cannot be right and is no doubt repeated widely across UK retail; it is a significant contributor to the dire straits the high street currently finds itself in.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • The 'dire straits the high street currently finds itself in' is largely down to retailers that have failed to adapt and change their business model to modern shopping habits. Footfall will continue to fall, so how does lowering rates really solve anything? If Frasers are in unviable stores, then close them down. It is simple economics.

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