Retailers’ electricity, gas and waste costs have soared nearly £3billion over the last two years.
According to new research by Oxford Economics, utility costs have risen 17% since 2010 to £2.7 billion in 2012. That’s despite retailers investing to slash energy use by 20% since 2008.
The figures are part of a wider survey commissioned by the British Retail Consortium, which shows retailers have seen the cost of running their businesses rocket £20billion since 2006.
That works out as business costs jumping a fifth since 2006, with annual operating costs rising from £96bn to £116bn. Sales values increased by just 12% over the same period, according to the data. The BRC – which counts Greggs, Starbucks, Tesco and John Lewis among its members – suggests cost increases on that scale are “forcing store closures and curtailing job creation”.