// Ryman owner Theo Paphitis urges Rishi Sunak to reform business rates
// The business tycoon said not taking action could result in “destruction” of bricks-and-mortar
// Paphitis said the last year has seen the acceleration of online retail shift by at least 5 years
Ryman owner Theo Paphitis has reportedly called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to reform business rates or prepare for the “destruction” of bricks-and-mortar retailers.
Paphitis, who also owns hardware business Robert Dyas and lingerie retailer Boux Avenue, said the government needs to provide further support to businesses amid the pandemic, Retail Week reported.
Although retailers have benefited from a business rates holiday and a review of the system has been undertaken, a publication of a final report on plans has been delayed until the autumn.
Ryman generated EBITDA of £7.8 million in the year to the first week of the first lockdown in March 2020.
Robert Dyas made an EBITDA loss of £3.1 million versus a profit of £1.8 million as it invested in infrastructure and building ecommerce operations, while Boux Avenue made an EBITDA loss of £14.9 million.
Although Boux Avenue and Robert Dyas have performed strongly online, Ryman has suffered overall due to the shift to working from home.
Business tycoon Paphitis said the last year has seen the acceleration of online retail shift by at least five years, and that Boux Avenue was benefiting from improvements made by a new leadership team and product improvements.
At Robert Dyas, online sales have risen from 20 per cent of the total before the pandemic to almost 50 per cent.