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Tax on online deliveries?


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On 28/02/2021 at 16:09, phil-b259 said:

 

Its a move long overdue - the likes of Amazon is a key reason why high street retailers are struggling as the tax charged on operating a distribution warehouse on an industrial estate is many, many times lower than that of a chain of shops!

 

I do share your concerns over its implementation though - a sensible move would be to tie it in with other taxes so that it becomes broadly 'tax neutral' for smaller businesses but larger ones pay more overall.

 

How about raising the VAT threshold as one way of doing it?


It could see Amazon opening stores on the high street, in conjunction with “ lockers” and other pick up locations.

 

Of course a “parcel” tax on deliveries would be an interesting way of encouraging some back to the high street.

 

 

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Amazon have just started opening some stores in London, basically a small foot supermarket, where you use your phone to automatically pay for items. No staff needed on site. Something similar has been started in Sweden , with a portacabin sized store, again no staff on site, and that seems to be working very well.

I would be concered than any attempt to tax online bsinesses will actually hurt small businesses more. Large companies like Amazon would find a way to avoid tax, or just pass it on.

Better to tackle off shore tax havens, but that might hurt some high ranking governmnt figures and suporters.

The real losers in the high street are the property owners, but the writing has been on the wall for many years. P&O pulled out of most of their shopping centres many years ago.

I thought property owners were paying business rates, theycertainly did at one point, after rules were changed following the Centre Point(London) scandal.

Ironocally one of our longest running empty buildings locally used to be the tax office!

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The likes of Amazon are not all bad.

 

Over the past year I have bought many items through the Amazon shopfront which originated with small retailers. They typically had one shop in a place I would never have visited, and sensibly included with the goods their physical address and website details so I could buy from them direct if I wished. In my local shopping mall there is one retailer in particular who moves from one vacant unit to the next as they arise. I rarely saw anyone in the shop, but in the line for coffee one day, the owner explained that by being able to move to vacant end-of-lease premises, he had a large warm and dry storage area for his mail order business with 24 hour security and a convenient loading bay. He employed one person on order picking and packing, and had organised his mobile racking etc. so he could move everything overnight when one lease ended and he had to move to the next vacant one.

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We always get this Amazon is bad everyone else is OK rubbish.

It's total twaddle, as with Mike in the previous post, many of the items I buy via Amazon are from small businesses that I would never give my custom to otherwise.

It must be a godsend to some small businesses as you get a presence on ubiquitous seller's website and the benefit of the logistics if you require them.

The high streets were already dying before the likes of Amazon came on the scene.

 

 

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On 18/03/2021 at 12:11, GoingUnderground said:

 

 

Your point about warehouse only retailers trading from a site on an industrial park away from the High Street paying less property taxes than retailers with a "real shop" isn't new. It goes back at least 40 years to when Comet set up shop selling consumer durables, TVs, washing machines, cookers, fridges, freezers, Hi-Fi systems, and the like. The first one that I visited was on an industrial estate in Hayes, in the late lamented county of Middlesex, and it didn't have any display space as such, just the odd item in the area open the the public, something to look at to stop the punters getting bored whilst waiting

Comet wasn't initially a warehouse only retailer, it also had shops in traditional high streets and shopping centres.

(It started it's retail business in George Street, Hull in the 1950s.)

The business model was rather like the Argos chain. You chose items from a printed list and they were bought to the counter for you.

I used the one in the Swan shopping centre Yardley, Birmingham many times.

Edited by melmerby
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I agree that the High Street as we know it was already effectively a dead man walking before Covid was even thought of.  The death of high streets, the demise of retailers (many effectively asset stripped for the name to go onto a flashy website leaving everything physical tossed on the scrap heap) was going to happen anyway, the long slow death process just got speeded up somewhat.

 

What I hope we will see is a lot of small start ups appear and start to fill the voids left behind.  The Government needs to get on this ASAP but I doubt in any real terms they actually will, just make announcements of announcements of previously flagged up announcements that in real terms contain little new money and even less actual willing to do something.

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Round here, the longest empty commercial properties are all proper main Post Office's which were all closed to be shoehorned into the back of already over cramped and unsuitable WHSmith's.  The idea was supposed to be to have longer opening hours including Sundays (now since scrapped) and released the proper Post Office buildings for commercial reuse, a plan that has flopped spectacularly!!!

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2 hours ago, John M Upton said:

Round here, the longest empty commercial properties are all proper main Post Office's which were all closed to be shoehorned into the back of already over cramped and unsuitable WHSmith's.  The idea was supposed to be to have longer opening hours including Sundays (now since scrapped) and released the proper Post Office buildings for commercial reuse, a plan that has flopped spectacularly!!!

 

Our village has a counter (more than a counter) staffed at busy times by 2 people, longer opening hours 7 days a week. It replaced a small sub post office where the owner was retiring. Unbelievable service by the staff and super long opening times. I am sorry for those who worked at main Post Offices, but certainly here the customer service is so much better than years before.

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4 hours ago, melmerby said:

Comet wasn't initially a warehouse only retailer, it also had shops in traditional high streets and shopping centres.

(It started it's retail business in George Street, Hull in the 1950s.)

The business model was rather like the Argos chain. You chose items from a printed list and they were bought to the counter for you.

I used the one in the Swan shopping centre Yardley, Birmingham many times.

I knew it started in Hull, but it was definitely one of the first to open retail outlets trading out of warehouses with no display area. The one in Hayes, Middx., that I went to was about a mile from the main shops. I can't remember the details, but you would have needed some sort of product list in store, or take a newspaper advert with you as the internet didn't exist. I'm afraid that I can't remember the mechanics of my purchase.

 

Argos started life as Green Shield Stamps, and you went to one of their "redemption centres" with your completed books of stamps which you exchanged for the items you'd selected from the printed catalogue. When trading stamps fell out of favour they simply changed from "customers" paying with books of stamps to paying with cash. I always find it ironic that Sainsburys never gave away trading stamps (it was Tesco and petrol stations in our area who used Green Shield) but they are now the owners of Argos, and with the recently-announced closure of all Argos stand alone stores, the only Argos branches left will be the ones in Sainsbury's supermarkets.

 

Looking back, it seems so strange to think that was how we did things back then, comapred to today when the first port of call is the internet and retailers websites.

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2 hours ago, hayfield said:

 

Our village has a counter (more than a counter) staffed at busy times by 2 people, longer opening hours 7 days a week. It replaced a small sub post office where the owner was retiring. Unbelievable service by the staff and super long opening times. I am sorry for those who worked at main Post Offices, but certainly here the customer service is so much better than years before.

Our village area parish had it's own sub post office.

It closed due to retirement, but there wouldn't be any hardship as the PO had lined up another to replace it.

The post office decals etc. started to appear in the replacement ready for the big day. Great, except the first one closed and the second never opened as a PO, in fact, IIRC the shop closed down before the "transfer" could take place.

Fortunately there is another in the adjacent part of the district, not too far away, that is open.

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Tax is just a business expense like any other. They will just pass it on to their customers as higher prices or their staff as lower remuneration.

 

If the excuse is to prop up the high street then they are wasting their time at our expense.

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17 minutes ago, AndrueC said:

Tax is just a business expense like any other. They will just pass it on to their customers as higher prices or their staff as lower remuneration.

 

If the excuse is to prop up the high street then they are wasting their time at our expense.

People seem to forget that businesses are there to get as much money out of you as they can legally (and illegally if they can get away with it).:yes:

Some people seem to have a strange idea that they are there to provide you with a service.:D

Also governments are there to extract as much of your cash as they can get away with.:(

:jester:

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5 minutes ago, melmerby said:

People seem to forget that businesses are there to get as much money out of you as they can legally (and illegally if they can get away with it).:yes:

Some people seem to have a strange idea that they are there to provide you with a service.:D

Also governments are there to extract as much of your cash as they can get away with.:(

:jester:

 

I agree with the first two points, but not all governments want to do the third. Quite often when taxation reduces tax take increases, simply when its cheaper to pay tax than avoid it

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What is killing the High Street is us as consumers.

 

It is our choice where we shop, and we're choosing the lowest price retailer and ignoring the added value that being able to see and feel goods in person before we buy them represents.

 

Playing around with business rates and additional taxes to increase the cost of running an online warehouse only operation may help, but at the cost of raising prices for consumers, us.

 

If we want to save the High Street we need to stop buying online. But that won't happen as money speaks louder than words for an awful lot of folks. Just ask Lidl and Aldi.

 

It all reminds me of the "I'm backing Britain" campaign back in the late 1960s which was supposed to get us all to work harder and buy British in preference to imported goods, which tended to be better quality, or lower priced, or had more social cachet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I'm_Backing_Britain It never got anywhere. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

 

 

  

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7 minutes ago, GoingUnderground said:

What is killing the High Street is us as consumers.

 

It is our choice where we shop, and we're choosing the lowest price retailer and ignoring the added value that being able to see and feel goods in person before we buy them represents.

We're also choosing not to have to fight our way into the town centre then pay through the nose for parking (assuming we can find anywhere to park).

 

I'm 54 and I've never enjoyed shopping. It's tedious, noisy and a waste of my time. I haven't bought anything from a real shop for what must be the best part of twenty years. I don't care which is cheaper. Buying stuff online is easier and a lot less hassle. Nothing is ever going to entice me back onto the high street.

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People have a nostalgia for the High Street but rarely use it. I am reminded of the people who whined bout the Beeching cuts but never used the train from one year to the next. It was as if they thought their local station should be kept simply because it had always been there, and they caught a train there in 1956.

 

Raising taxes to subsidise a dying business model is like putting a tax on trains to keep the stage coaches running.

 

If you want a High Street (or a local market) give it your patronage. Good luck finding a shop with 7mm scale models though.

Edited by Poggy1165
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On 20/03/2021 at 13:35, hayfield said:

 

Our village has a counter (more than a counter) staffed at busy times by 2 people, longer opening hours 7 days a week. It replaced a small sub post office where the owner was retiring. Unbelievable service by the staff and super long opening times. I am sorry for those who worked at main Post Offices, but certainly here the customer service is so much better than years before.

 

You are lucky.  Our village post office (quite a busy one) disappeared when the postmaster retired and couldn't sell the business- no village shop, no post office....

 

Les

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12 hours ago, Les1952 said:

 

You are lucky.  Our village post office (quite a busy one) disappeared when the postmaster retired and couldn't sell the business- no village shop, no post office....

 

Les

 

When we moved 5 years ago (this week as it happens) if we chose a village it had to have a decent shop in walking distance, well it has a large (For the Coop) supermarket, a local convenience store and a small Tesco in a petrol station. As I have said the Coop years before took over the Post Office and to their credit it has flourished and a couple of years ago it underwent a massive refurbishment. The past year has seen its business explode, at times they cannot move for the mountain of parcels waiting to be picked up, but I guess their foreign exchange has bombed out temporally 

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Who remembers the old style Post offices !!  What awful places they were. I remember the Old one in Watford High Street (between the 2 market entrances and Clemence or was it Cawdells) 

 

Then it moved into Market street (on the corner with Shady lane ?)

 

 

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3 hours ago, Michael Hodgson said:

What's a post office?

Apparently it's a place you can go to to get bills paid, driver's licenses, passports and parcels sent.

 

Quite why anyone would choose to actually go somewhere to get that done escapes me.

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18 minutes ago, AndrueC said:

Apparently it's a place you can go to to get bills paid, driver's licenses, passports and parcels sent.

 

Quite why anyone would choose to actually go somewhere to get that done escapes me.

 

Because a lot of people prefer to do it that way. i certainly prefer to get out when I can and not rely on technology ALL the time

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31 minutes ago, AndrueC said:

Apparently it's a place you can go to to get bills paid, driver's licenses, passports and parcels sent.

 

Quite why anyone would choose to actually go somewhere to get that done escapes me.

 

13 minutes ago, 40F said:

Because a lot of people prefer to do it that way. i certainly prefer to get out when I can and not rely on technology ALL the time

 

Absolutely.

 

Apparently something to do with a concept called "human contact". Some of us used to enjoy this, before all the lockdown cycles started.

 

Some of us also enjoyed being able to buy things using proper banknotes and coins - we found them easier to keep track of than plastic.

 

A number of years back, banknotes and coins were sometimes referred to using descriptions like "L.s.d".

 

No - I'm not hallucinating.

 

 

Huw.

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1 hour ago, Huw Griffiths said:

Apparently something to do with a concept called "human contact". Some of us used to enjoy this, before all the lockdown cycles started.

If the only way you can get human contact is with a shop assistant (lockdown not withstanding when you shouldn't be having contact with them) then perhaps you need to get out more and widen your social circle ;)

 

The issue of being reliant on technology is an interesting one but my experience is that it's plenty reliable enough. I never suffer internet or electrical outages. If things become bad enough to make using the web impractical then I suspect it'll be because of a complete collapse of UK infrastructure in which case I'll have better things to do than go to the Post Office anyway, lol.

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