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High streets will go on suffering until the digital economy pays more tax

Shopkeepers are essentially correct: business rates are pre-internet and have become archaicHouse of Fraser, Mothercare, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams. The list of major retailing names that have announced plans to close stores this year is long, and will undoubtedly lengthen. That is before you count the chains that have gone the way of Woolworths and packed up altogether - the likes of Toys R Us and Maplin. And nobody has a reliable tally of the independent shops that have disappeared.No retailer has a right to survive and some of the headline-grabbing retreats owe much to outdated formats, lack of investment or bad management. Yet talk of a "crisis" on our high streets is legitimate. At least 35,000 retail jobs have been lost or put at risk of redundancy this year, which represents a brutal readjustment even at a time of high rates of general employment. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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