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Property firm proposes measures to help boost UK retail sector post-lockdown

UK retail

Colliers International has drawn up a plan to help boost the retail sector

A multinational real estate company that advises both tenants and landlords has proposed several measures to help stimulate shopping in London after the coronavirus lockdown eases.

Colliers International has drawn up a three-point plan it would urge the UK Government to look at to help boost the retail sector.

Several companies had to shut down in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Non-essential retailers can reopen stores from June 15 in line with government-mandated social distancing guidelines.

Colliers’ head of London retail agency, Paul Souber said: Both the Government and the London Mayor’s office should be looking at positive action to make it easier and cheaper to get into the capital, and provide incentives for shopping in the capital. What’s needed is a mix of financial and practical measures.

According to the firm, the measures could include the immediate introduction of an online sales tax, with the proceeds channelled directly into physical shopping environments across the UK and not just in London.

The company added that there could be public transport incentives to encourage travel into central London, as well as substantial VAT relief on items bought in stores.

Souber said:

“The West End’s reopening plan, which has been developed by Westminster council and the New West End Company, provides a safe and responsible platform for the resumption of retailing and leisure in the capital but this must be coupled with direct and positive action to encourage shoppers to come back to London’s great shopping streets.”

He added: We have to get London shopping again; otherwise the economic impact in terms of lost jobs and revenue to the Treasury will be felt far beyond the capital.

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