MPs to probe decline of UK retail

Published on: 15th March 2013

MPs are to investigate Britain’s retail sector after a series of high-profile chains have gone bust, costing thousands of jobs.Mary-Portas300

The business, innovation and skills committee has announced plans to hold an inquiry into the Government’s efforts to support the sector, after this year saw chains such as HMV, Jessops, Blockbuster and Republic enter into administration.

The committee will look at the Government’s response to the Portas Review, which it commissioned to suggest ways of revitalising Britain’s flagging high streets (Toy World reported that, in fact, very little of the money gathered, to be used to re-invigorate the high street as a result of the report, has not been spent; you can read more here).

Other issues to be considered by the committee include “the impact of online and direct sales on high street retailers”, “the skills needed for a successful sector”, and “the regulations and costs affecting the sector”.

The British Retail Consortium is also currently lobbying the government to freeze April’s planned 2.6% hike in business rates to better reflect the troubled state of high street trading.

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