Overheads for the UK betting shops are set to rise in 2018 along with most other costs associated with “High Street” trade. The betting shops, along with other employers, face a rise in the minimum wage and an increase in both employers’ and employees’ payments to the Workplace Pension Scheme. GBGC estimates this will add £3,000 a year to the costs of a single-manned shop.
Additional costs specific to betting shops are those associated with media which will add about £8,400 a year, including VAT.
Shopkeepers in shopping centres have noticed an increase in service charges that are billed by landlords. Rents are fixed according to the lease and upon renewal it is not hard to negotiate a lesser rent than one paid during the lease term, with all the high street shop closures. Inflating service charges seems to be a landlord’s unfair option and one difficult to dispute.
Since the onset of the recession that started in 2008 there have been many High Street casualties. According to the Daily Telegraph 30 major chains have disappeared and they include: Woolworths, Zavvi, Blockbuster, Austin Reed, BHS, Phones 4U, TJ Hughes, Jaeger, Maplin, Tie Rack, and Focus Hardware to name a few.
The closures alarmed the previous coalition government and its solution was to introduce BID (Business Improvement District) where shopkeepers paid into a fund to promote the town. One would have thought the rates they paid would do that but clearly not!
So, an extra burden is placed on an already declining high street. The reality is that the consumer is shopping online because they save petrol and parking costs by staying at home. A trend that is hitting the high street bookmaker as well as retail shops.
The best and simplest initiative to get people out shopping is to make parking free for the first three hours.