Store backs campaign on business rate delays

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DISCOUNT retailer Poundland has backed calls for Government to scrap the postponement of a revaluation of business rates.

The chain, owned by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, said postponing the 2015 revaluation until 2017 was “reckless” and would lead to more casualties on the high street.

Poundland, which has 17 of its 300 stores in Yorkshire, backed a campaign and online petition by property agent Colliers CRE, calling for a reversal of the decision.

Ben Wall, national portfolio manager at Poundland, said: “It is difficult to understand the logic behind the decision to delay the rating revaluation as it will impact many retailers who are already struggling and facing financial hardship.

“Postponing the revaluation only serves to delay the structured recalibration of the high street, which is needed for it to survive. I strongly believe that the Government is making a reckless decision given the fragile state of the retail sector.”

The proposal to delay revaluation until 2017 is one of a number of measures being put forward by the Department for Communities and Local Government. If implemented, businesses will continue to pay business rates based on 2008 property values, instead of current values, which are considerably lower.

Mr Wall said the decision will have a major impact on Poundland’s property portfolio and future investment decisions.

“Our business relies upon the estimates of business rates during the period of the rating list, which are key to the financial models on which we base our decisions on opening new stores, relocating and extending existing properties,” he said.

“The postponement of the revaluation until 2017 will surely have unintended consequences and will mean that, in some situations, new store viability will be affected.”

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