High street

In some places rateable values have fallen by 47% in the draft list

Retailers will see a reduction in their business rates bills from April as the rateable value of shops falls an average 10%, according to property consultancy Colliers.

It makes retailers the biggest winners in a new published draft ratings list for 2023. It comes after the multiplier was frozen at 51.2 p for large businesses and 49.9p for smaller businesses in the autumn budget. So-called downwards phasing, under which lowered bills were previously phased in over three years, was also scrapped, meaning retailers will pay less immediately as the new list takes effect.

In some areas, including Oxford Street in London, shops’ rateable values have fallen by as much as 30%, said Colliers head of business rates John Webber.

Selfridges has seen its rateable value drop even more sharply, by 45% from £30.5m to £16.8m.

Harrods in Knightsbridge has seen its rateable value drop from £32.7m to 16.8m, and the store’s rates bill will drop by a corresponding 45%, according to Colliers.

In some towns and cities in the north of England, rateable values have fallen by 47% in the draft list.

In contrast, the logistics sector sees rateable values rise an average 27.1%, the largest increase of any sector.

However, Webber said there were discrepancies in the list and advised companies to consider approaching the Valuation Office Agency before April.

“We are expecting to see substantial business rates bills reductions across England and Wales, not just on high street locations but in retail parks and shopping centres and other out of town locations,” said Webber.

“Rates bills are not the only economic pressure on retailers, particularly with the energy crisis, rising service charges and staffing costs but by freezing the multiplier and removing downwards transition allowing rates bills to fairly reflect rents, if a retail business fails in 2023 or beyond, it is unlikely to be because of business rates.”