Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium:

 “Retail is undergoing a period of profound transformation driven by changing consumer behaviours and innovative technologies. As these structural changes unfold, we have seen retail employment falling across the country, with a 2.3% drop as compared with the previous year; this is equivalent to around 72,000 jobs being lost. Such declines are likely to endure, hastened by Government policies that continue to add costs to an industry already under immense pressures.

“With a new Prime Minister and cabinet in place, there is a clear opportunity to rethink the high street strategy. Business rates pose an unsustainable burden on shops and jobs, and we urge the Government to provide immediate relief to retailers large and small in order to facilitate much needed investment in the digital and physical offerings they provide to their customers."