Chancellor George Osborne has been urged to give retailers the economic certainty they require in order to fund major investment. Retailers claim clarity is necessary to cope with the current uncertainty in the sector.

In its submission in advance of next month’s budget, the BRC said that with the price of non-food goods falling for 22 consecutive months and food inflation remaining at very low levels, the industry faced a huge challenge to find the resources needed to meet changing customer demands.

BRC director general, Helen Dickinson, said she hoped Osborne would bring the clarity to policy needed for businesses to invest in re-scaling its operations, including the negotiations over rules on e-commerce across European borders.

Dickinson said “clarity, certainty and transparency” should be the Chancellor’s three key themes, and added: “The challenge facing retailers is apparent with investment in online operation, jobs, property and supply chains at its core. The speed of change is accelerating and retailers face growing pressure to re-scale operations to meet the demands of a new age in retail.”

Dickinson said it was vital the review of rates, promised in 2016, “does not solely seek solutions within the parameters of the existing system.”