The British Retail Consortium has called for a “fundamental reassessment” of the national minimum wage.

Preliminary findings from the BRC's annual national minimum wage survey show that last year's rise cost retailers £1bn. It argues that this year's increase would add a further £1bn.

Kevin Hawkins, director general of the BRC, said: “We are urging the Low Pay Commission to go back to basics and define what the ultimate goal for the minimum wage is.”