High street

Convenience stores in England and Wales will see an average business rates increase of 8.5% when business rates revaluation comes into effect in April.

According to CVS Business Rents & Rates Specialists, shops in almost 800 villages, towns and cities are facing a huge increase in their rateable value.

Business rates specialist Paul Turner-Mitchell told Retail Express that the Government’s revaluation postponement from 2015 to this year has created a chaotic situation that will be of little benefit to most c-stores.

“There will be big winners and losers, but it’s hard to determine the impact on the convenience sector as the Government’s classification covers all shops. In the seven-year period since the last revaluation, we have seen property prices shift massively in certain areas,” he said.

“However, the Government has created a £3.6bn transitional relief fund to cushion large increases and decreases to bills. This means that large premises will see a rise of no more than 42% plus inflation in year one.

“Against this, there is a restriction for those premises valued at more than £100,000, which means they can only see a 4.1% drop in business rates.”

Raj Aggarwal of Spar Hackenthorpe in Sheffield, told Retail Express that rates for one of his stores were almost doubling. “Previously, we’ve qualified for rates relief, but the increase will push us over the threshold,” he said.

CVS has calculated that overall, due to the changes in business rates, retail will supplement the economy to the tune of £649m with no return on this sum.

Ahead of the upcoming Budget, experts are also predicting the introduction of a business rates self assessment scheme. Read more here.