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how can government help the retail sector?

19 March 2012

That was the question asked and answered by Mark Prisk MP, Minister for Business and Enterprise at the Retail Week retail conference in London this week. In his talk he had positive messages about Mary Portas’ proposals, the role of Local Enterprise Partnerships and planning changes.

He also advocated the scrapping of 170 of the 257 pieces of legislation affecting retailers, including the creation of a new consumer “bill of rights” to simplify consumer law.

But will this really make life easier for retailers? At least part of the plan is to implement the EU Consumer Rights Directive which includes giving longer cooling off periods for consumers (14 days rather than 7) and will change practices that currently exist – benefiting the customer, no doubt – but making life easier for retailers? I suspect that some of the audience may disagree.

We are looking at the changes anticipated by the Consumer Rights Directive at the next in house lawyers seminar.

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