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UK Department Stores – reasons to be cheerful

The department store was once the king of the high street. From the mid-19th century, long before the advent of the internet, they were the original one-stop shop. But recent news of profit warnings, redundancies and store closures for the UK’s other major department store chains provides clear evidence that times have changed. Even John Lewis, considered by many to be a blueprint for business success, has seen a sharp fall in profits. Is the end of the department store as we know it? Will any of the major chains survive? And what makes one chain more likely to survive than another?

UK Department Stores – reasons to be fearful

The department store was once the king of the high street. From the mid-19th century, long before the advent of the internet, they were the original one-stop shop. They prospered as the cornerstone of many a high street or shopping centre. Such was the pull of a department store, there have even been instances of major department stores receiving lease concessions for acting as ‘anchor tenants’ in new shopping complexes. However, BHS’s administration in 2016 was a warning to other companies. 2018 has seen profit warnings, redundancies and store closures for the UK’s other major department store chains, providing clear evidence that times have changed.

HMRC's record yield of £388m from Diverted Profits Tax

Latest figures reported by HMRC shows that the yield from the Diverted Profits Tax (DPT) increased by over a third (38%) to £388 million in 2017/18, up from £281 million in the previous year.

Introduced in 2015, DPT is designed to discourage activities that divert profits away from the UK so that they are not subject to corporation tax, thereby reducing HMRC’s tax yield.
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