Two weeks extra for VAT repricing

Retailers have been given four weeks instead of two to update price labels in stores after the VAT rate change on January 1.

The British Retail Consortium welcomed the government's decision to give shops longer to change shelf and product labels when standard rate VAT returns to 17.5%.

Extending the period of grace by two extra weeks eases the strain on retailers over the busy Christmas and new year period, according to BRC director general Stephen Robertson.

“This is a victory for BRC campaigning. It’s come late but this change will give retailers more time to achieve this huge, costly exercise without undermining their key mission – serving customers,” he said.

“Retailers will be doing all they can to minimise any customer confusion by relabelling quickly but they now have the option of leaving the job until later in January when shopper numbers are lower and staff are under less pressure.

“I urge the government to ensure a light touch to enforcement after the change so retailers aren’t unfairly penalised while this work is being carried out,” Robertson added.