Parcelhero, welcomes Philip Hammond’s first budget’s help in reducing urban congestion; but warns that it has not done enough to remove the threat to High Street retailers already battling the rise of e-commerce.
Our latest industry report: 2030: Death of the High Street’, warns that the impact of e-commerce could mean our High Streets reach a dead end by 2030, with nothing but nail bars and charity shops in some town centres. The planned changes to Business Rates threaten many High Street retailers with significant rate rises just as they are battling to take on online retailers. The cap of £50 per month for this year for businesses coming out of Small Business Rate Relief is welcome; but what happens to those businesses in two year’s time?
Some city centres are saying their Business Rates are rising by around 50% while e-tailers such as Amazon may even see their rates fall on out of town distribution centres. More needs to be done to save the High Street and look at the disparity of taxes and rates between online and brick and mortar retailers.
Delivering the future
ParcelHero has warmly welcomed the £270m investment announced in developing robotics and driverless vehicles. Britain is at the forefront of technology when it comes to logistics and courier services. Parcels are being delivered by drone in Cambridgshire, droids are delivering packages in London streets and driverless vans are being trialled in Greenwich. Britain and the US are streets ahead of the rest of the Western world when it comes to e-commerce and delivery innovation; and this money will help ensure we stay ahead of the curve.
But there needs to be a joined up policy: What we need to see is a plan for the High Street and e-commerce to grow together; and technology, sensible taxation policies and more flexible planning regulations will help ensure this takes place.
Finally, ParcelHero welcomes the £93m for northern roads, and more money for Midlands routes to tackle pinch points; and the £690m competition for local authorities to tackle urban congestion. ParcelHero says this is something that will benefit all retailers, whether ‘e-tailers’ or High Street chains.
Delivery delays cost this country millions of pounds and something needs to be done to ensure Britain gets back on the move. This latest investment will help ensure our logistics services can keep delivering.
For more information see https://www.parcelhero.com/blog/news-updates/2030-dead-end-for-the-high-street