A report by retail expert Mary Portas, setting out her vision to breathe new life into Britain’s ailing high earners, warns that top retailers such as billionnaire TopShop entrepeneur Philip Green could even “disappear forever” from the UK unless more urgent action is taken by the government to support them.
The TV guru’s report, which was commissioned by the Prime Minister David Cameron, concludes that the recession has taken a serious toll on the highest earning retailers in the country.
During the last seven months Portas has met hundreds of the UK’s wealthiest chain-store owners, property developers and town planners and she has recommended a range of planning policy incentives such as free parking to encourage shoppers back into city centres so they can be fleeced by the large chains which now own most of the shops on the high street.
The long-awaited review from Portas, known for her TV series Mary Queen of Shops and Mary Queen of Frocks, sets out 28 recommendations to make it easier for shoppers to be overcharged and leeched by multi-billionaire retailers like Sir Philip. She wants to get town centres running like businesses, where money can be more easily extorted from customers. Portas also suggests looking at how business rates and tax breaks could better support retail chains by providing even more ways to lower their already pitiful tax burdens.
The Prime Minister welcomed the report, saying:
I’m delighted that Mary Portas has produced such a clear vision on how we can breathe life into our high streets by making it as easy as possible for unscrupulous entrepeneurs to sell more of their crap to the unsuspecting British public. I’m especially happy because I know most of the people who are going to profit from these proposals personally.
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