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Businesses in trouble

Denise Lloyd

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Apologies for another post so quickly but it's different ............

i am getting on in age !  Having said that yesterday I purchased orders via the Internet fron two companies - I have been advised by both companies that they will be delivered to me by Tuesday . I am happy with that , I do not need to drive 5 miles into the City and pay parking charges to purchase the same items .  Just another reason if one is needed why the City Centre shops are leaving .

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  • 3 weeks later...

New fears for High Street as another 1,500 stores collapse

By Jon Coates, Sunday Express, April 29, 2018

THREE shops closed on the high street every day last year as soaring business rates, online competition and a fall in trade hit independent retailers. New research found that nearly 1,500 traditional "bricks and mortar" stores shut their doors for good in towns and villages across Britain in 2017.



Today the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has issued a stark warning to the Government.

Chief executive Alan Hawkins, said: "If I could give one message I'd say 'sort out the rates - it's not fair'.

"It's not as though the high street is finished, but we need some help quickly to make sure we have a rosier future."

The study on the state of the high street by the Local Data Company and Bira found that Yorkshire and the Humber, and Greater London, have suffered the greatest decline in independent shops in the past year.

In Yorkshire and the Humber 460 stores closed, with 374 shutting in Greater London. However, the West Midlands managed to buck this trend, with 230 new stores opening.

Telford has the lowest percentage of independent retailers, with Yate in Gloucestershire, Bracknell in Berks, Cowley in Oxfordshire and Salford in Greater Manchester the next worst.

High street businesses visited by customers - like barbers, beauty salons and coffee shops - fared the best.

Mr Hawkins continued: "These figures come as no surprise. Uncertainty over Brexit, changing shopping habits, a harsh winter and real incomes falling all explain these figures.

"The consumer is king and if they want to buy online then that is their call, you can't do anything about it. But you can't leave the cost base with the old high street and expect it to survive with a new entrant, the internet.

"It's not fair to leave the high street to pick up the rates bill when they are only picking up 75 per cent of the trade that used to be there, due to what has gone online. We say to the Government, let the consumer be king but reduce the rates bill for those left in bricks and mortar on the high street.

"There should also be an equivalent version of business rates for warehousing, particularly if that warehousing is used for retail fulfilment.

"The last rates increase in April has been the last straw for a lot of struggling retailers, because of the massive increases. The Government says it has put rates relief measures in place to help those struggling, but it has not.

"It has exempted shops below £12,000 rateable value when it used to be £6,000, but there aren't many of our members with rateable value shops of £12,000.

"Those are really tiny shops - the average independent is trading with a rateable value of about £24,000."

If you are a shopkeeper or shopper with concerns about the high street, write to Jon Coates, Sunday Express, Northern & Shell Building, 10 Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6EN or email jon.coates@express.co.uk

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  • 6 months later...

Will these measures work?

From the Budget yesterday (29th October 2018)

In the longer term, to support a sustainable transformation of high streets, the Plan includes a £675 million Future High Streets Fund, planning reform, a High Streets Task Force to support local leadership, and funding to strengthen community assets, including the restoration of historic buildings on high streets.

Business rates public lavatories relief – The government will introduce 100% business rates relief for all public lavatories to help keep these important local amenities open. (47)

Business rates local newspaper discount – The government will continue the £1,500 business rates discount for office space occupied by local newspapers in 2019-20.

Local authorities will be fully compensated for the loss of income as a result of these business rates measures.


More detail;

5.14 Investing in UK towns and cities

Future High Streets Fund – As part of Our Plan for the High Street and alongside changes to business rates, the government will launch a new Future High Streets Fund to invest £675 million in England to support local areas to develop and fund plans to make their high streets and town centres fit for the future. This will invest in town centre infrastructure, including to increase access to high streets and support redevelopment and densification around high streets. It will include £55 million for heritage-based regeneration, restoring historic high streets to boost retail and bring properties back into use as homes, offices and cultural venues. The Fund will also establish a new High Streets Taskforce to disseminate best practice among local leaders.

High streets planning – The government will consult on planning measures to support high streets to evolve. As part of this, it will consult on creating a more flexible and responsive ‘change of use’ regime with new Permitted Development Rights that make it easier to establish new mixed‑use business models on the high street. It will also trial a register of empty shops with selected local authorities, and trial a brokerage service to connect community groups to empty shops.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Guardian today


Embattled high street retailers call for help as closures soar

Pubs, fashion outlets and estate agents prominent among 24,205 closures recorded in the first six months of this year

Retailers have called for “decisive action” from the government to support the UK’s battered high streets after new data showed the number of shops, pubs and restaurants lying empty has soared by more than 4,400 in the first six months of this year.


Pubs were among the hardest hit, with a 6.5% decline in numbers over the six-month period as people drink more at home and young people consume less alcohol, while running costs rise. Retailers experiencing the biggest losses were electrical goods stores, fashion shops and news agents. Estate agents also suffered heavy closures.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Despite the positive measures announced in the budget, one in three pounds spent in the pub still goes to the taxman and pubs pay, per pound of turnover, more in business rates than any other sector.”

The data reflects a crisis on the high street that has cost tens of thousands of jobs. Major chains including House of Fraser, Evans Cycles, Maplin and Poundworld have collapsed into administration this year while many others, including New Look, Carpetright, Mothercare and Homebase have all been forced to seek legal agreements with their landlords to shut stores and slash their rent bills.

There are some stores still thriving, led by barbers and beauty salons – whose services cannot be replicated online. Between January and June the number of barber shops rose by 349 while an additional 160 beauty salons, 122 shoe repairers and 50 health clubs opened their doors. There were also 94 new vaping stores and 52 new independent coffee shops.

Lisa Hooker, at PwC, said: “The continued rate of store closures reflects the new reality that many of us prefer to shop online and increasingly eat, drink and entertain at home. The high street is adapting to an overcapacity in retail and leisure space resulting from these channel shifts.

Patrick O’Brien, a retail analyst at GlobalData, said: “Clothing is where the shift to online is happening fastest. Over £7bn of sales have moved online in clothing and footwear in the last five years. That dwarves any other sector.”

In last month’s budget the chancellor Philip Hammond offered business rates relief for small retailers and a planning consultation that could make it easier for some of the UK’s 50,000 empty shops to be converted into homes or other uses.

According to this article the ideal high street customer is a person who works out in a gym, walks into town while on their mobile phone and needs their shoes repairing. Pops into a supermarket to get their tobacco or vap followed up by some time in a beauty salon and barbers and ending with a quick coffee or ice cream.

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2 hours ago, megilleland said:

Appears Tewkesbury has identified the retail problem!


One of my customers bought a farmhouse about 5 years ago with acres of farmland just down from the BP garage in Ashchurch with quite a large part outlined for potential

development.The word then was that their was very little possibility that this would ever be built on but now it's become a real possibility.

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I spent a few years living on the army camp at Ashchurch (1955 to 1971) and together with train spotting on the local station, a pleasant period in my life. I remember walking from Ashchurch to Tewkesbury regularly before the M5 was built and there was little development between the two, just open fields.

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How much coffee can one town drink? Council bans new cafes on high street that already has FOURTEEN on a 500-yard stretch

*High street of Christchurch, Dorset has a coffee shop every 35 yards on average

*Local officials have decided to leave a store empty rather than have another cafe 

*The town has chains Cafe Nero and Costa as well as a host of independent cafes

*One owner said she was struggling to pay £2,500 rent and £1,360 business rates


Notice that Westminster city council is to ban supersize properties.

Westminster city council is to ban new supersize properties built for oligarchs and other members of the global elite in order to free up space for more affordable homes for “real people”.

The ban is part of Westminster’s 2019-40 development plan released on Monday night, which also included a commitment to build more than 10,000 affordable units by 2040.


I suppose by affordable they mean people who can only afford a million or two. Should be able to squeeze a few more coffee shops in.

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Picturesque Brecon Beacons town's high street is named the best in the UK - and it prides itself on having ZERO chain stores

* Crickhowell, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, was named winner of the Great British High Street Awards
* Judges were wowed by the bustling street in the picturesque town, which is full of family-run, independent shops 
* To stop large national chains taking over, 267 residents even collectively bought a pub due to close down

Lessons to learn here?

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1 hour ago, Denise Lloyd said:

They also managed to get something through to do with tax and I can't remember what

Crickhowell: Welsh town moves 'offshore' to avoid tax on local business

When independent traders in a small Welsh town discovered the loopholes used by multinational giants to avoid paying UK tax, they didn’t just get mad.

Now local businesses in Crickhowell are turning the tables on the likes of Google and Starbucks by employing the same accountancy practices used by the world’s biggest companies, to move their entire town “offshore”.

Be interesting to know how this progressed.

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