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Retailers fear impact of hung parliament

With less than a week to go before the result of one of the most hotly contested general election battles, retail chiefs have warned of the negative impact of a potential hung parliament on the industry.

Selfridges chief executive Paul Kelly said: “We need a strong, decisive government, free to manoeuvre and implement policies that will help all of us, not just retailers, thrive in a robust economy.”

Simon Berwin, managing director of menswear supplier Berwin & Berwin, said: “A hung parliament would have an adverse effect on interest rates andwould lead to unwanted inflation.”

Tony Brown, chief executive of Beales, added: “It will create a huge amount of uncertainty. We will have three parties pushing their different budgets and taxation.”

Hobbs chief executive Nicky Dulieu warned that a hung parliament would “knock” the recovery of consumer confidence.

Last week, Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green and owner of supplier International Clothing Richard Caring gave Tory leader David Cameron their support in the upcoming election.

At an event at the Fashion Retail Academy, Green said: “What we need now is a clean start - we can’t leave it as it is. I’ve met with David and George [Osborne], I’ve sat with them and they understand what needs to be done. I think they get it.”

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