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Living wage 'unlikely to hit larger retailers’ bottom lines'

Publicly listed retailers will largely escape the effects of the new national living wage, City analysts predicted yesterday.

In the summer budget on Wednesday, chancellor George Osborne announced a new minimum ‘living’ wage for workers over the age of 25 of £7.20 per hour from April 2016. This will rise to £9 by 2020.

The announcement split retailers and industry bodies across the UK, with some saying the £9 per hour rate was too high for small businesses.

But Barclays retail analyst Christodoulos Chaviaras said most listed retailers already pay staff a median wage of £7.30 and predicted the 20-30 basis point impact could be offset through other efficiencies, City AM reports.

Peel Hunt’s John Stevenson said Sports Direct may be among those larger retailers affected, but pointed out that many of its staff are likely to be under 25.



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