Published: 6th Mar 2019

Amazon are once again the enfant terrible of retail after they were recently forced to reveal they paid just 0.7% in business rates (£63.4m) following sales of £8.8bn in 2018. Put into context, Debenhams paid 3%, Cineworld 6% and New Look 6.5% of their respective total income in rates. The numbers were included in a parliamentary select committee report last month with MPs calling for an overhauled business rates system that will ‘level the playing field’ for struggling high street retailers who compete with Amazon. But have they fundamentally misunderstood how the high street has changed, and would it be fair? Crinkly tin sheds An Amazon Fulfilment Centre, Dunfermline. There are 18 Amazon ‘Fulfilment Centres’ in the UK. Vast modern arenas of capitalism that prepare for shipment everything from paperclips to PS4s. Constructed next to motorways far away from traditional high streets, their location gives them … (To read the full article, subscribe below)