Welcome to the New Year Edition of Retail Line
It seems only five minutes ago that we were busily scheduling lease completions to assist clients with Christmas opening, and here we go again. As the sector appraises the results of Christmas 2015, and navigates its way through the new season trading, businesses will be monitoring consumer response to the recent volatility in global markets with intense interest to assess the impact on their trade.
2015 was a relatively strong year for the retail and leisure sectors, with customers feeling more positive about their domestic cashflows and unemployment at a low. The long Christmas sale season and mixed weather has however brought the economic outlook in to sharp focus and illustrates some of the challenges for the year ahead.
Although we cannot predict the economic challenges of 2016, some legal developments will directly affect retail and leisure businesses.
New consumer legislation is expected for online sales and digital content, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards will take effect in October and, of course, the National Minimum Living Wage comes into effect on 1 April.
A report on the structural review of business rates is expected before the 2016 Budget and the government will consult on a number of issues, including proposed changes to the Sunday Trading Laws and the introduction of a statutory Pubs Code and adjudicator. We will be reporting on these and other issues affecting the retail and leisure sectors in future briefings.
In this issue:
- Construction – Interim Payment Certificates and Insolvency
- Corporate – new register of people with significant control
- Dispute resolution – whose contract terms apply to a contract?
- Property – penalty clauses; break clauses; non-domestic business rates
- Employment – post party disciplinary issues