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News Release

London

JLL reacts to the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee report on the retail sector


LONDON, 4th March 2014 - Commenting on the release of today’s report into the retail sector which includes calls for wholesale reform of business rates and plans to tackle skills shortages in the sector, Tim Beattie, Head of Rating at JLL said: “The recent report from the BRC recommended radical changes such as basing the tax on energy consumption or offering discounts on the basis of workforce growth and it seems the BIS Select Committee report is also supporting wholesale reform. What the retail sector would really benefit from is re-instatement of the 2015 revaluation date and restoration of empty property rate relief. This, coupled with a review of all other reliefs and exemptions and a permanent cap on the rate multiplier linked to CPI and not RPI, would demonstrate a true on-going commitment to business.”

James Brown, Head of European Retail Research at JLL added: “The report has flagged the need to increase digital skills in the sector as a way to ensure that customers can shop across multiple channels and adapt to the changing landscape. Embracing technology, adapting tenant mix to include increased food and leisure, or stepping up efforts to serve and communicate with customers are all ways in which retail places are changing and adapting. E-commerce is a major facet of this and will help complement retailing through physical store networks. Retailers who do not respond to the opportunity of changing technology and the increasingly virtual world will simply get left behind.”