The high-end stores lining Old and New Bond Street will pay £160 million more in business property taxes in the next five years as business rates rise from next month.
Analysis by surveyors at business rates specialist CVS for The Times showed the 146 stores face a surge in their business rates after the first rise in the tax since 2008. The giant Louis Vuitton flagship will see the biggest single increase as its five-year bill more-than-doubles to £20 million.
Meanwhile, Polo Ralph Lauren’s bill will rise by £8.4 million over five years for its store that costs it £2,225 per sq ft in rent.
A business rates review had been due for 2015 but was delayed in the face of intense opposition and an economic downturn. And with property values and potential rents having soared in the past few years, that has meant big increases for many and ongoing protests that have seen the government offering some concessions.
But while Bond Street’s luxury stores are less likely to get a sympathetic hearing from the UK government (and media) than many other businesses that will suffer from the tax increases, the extra costs will still lead some to question the viability of a store on one of London’s top luxury shopping streets.
Katie Thomas, of the Bond Street Association, admitted that the street is unlikely to see large numbers of vacant sites as demand is “huge”, but she told the newspaper: “There is certainly a concern that some retailers might not be able to continue. These rises are taking us into uncharted territory.”