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86% of Arcadia stores remain empty - Usdaw says that clearly shows we need a retail recovery plan

Date: 01 December 2021 Retail trade union Usdaw has renewed the call for a recovery plan for the industry, after the Local Data Company found that around 86% of Arcadia group shop sites are still vacant. That includes former Topshop, Topman, Burton and Dorothy Perkins stores, which closed after the company collapsed.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “You only have to walk down any high street to see how the retail sector has been impacted by the pandemic. The Covid-19 crisis heightened the difficulties retail already faced and a recovery plan is urgently needed to ensure that our high streets survive, as demonstrated by the vast majority of former Arcadia stores remaining empty.

“We urgently need to level the playing field between online and bricks-and-mortar retail, something Usdaw and many major retailers have called on the Government to do. A 1% online sales levy could raise around £1.5 billion and fund a 20% cut in the current outdated and imbalanced commercial property tax.

“We are looking for the Government to work with unions and businesses to develop an urgent recovery plan for retail, looking at the wider pressures facing the sector such as business rates, rents and lease arrangements. This plan should also include continued support for local authorities to help them revitalise their local high street, making them hubs for our communities.

“A retail recovery plan must also recognise the contribution of the people who work in the industry. For too long retail has been a byword for low pay and insecure jobs. If we want retail to prosper, we need to make sure that retail jobs are good jobs.”

Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 380,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
Usdaw’s Save Our Shops Campaign: www.usdaw.org.uk/saveourshops
Local Data Company: www.localdatacompany.com/
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers