Industry Focus: Retail and Wholesale

It brings us no joy reminding you about the many industries that have been devastated by the ongoing pandemic. We know it’s a sensitive subject at the momentbut we only do it in order to highlight that there is help available. So, we have produced another industry focused article to follow on from our previous blog post on R&D for Hospitality. This week, we’d like to pay special attention to the Retail and Wholesale sector.  

Much like the Hospitality sector, the coronavirus pandemic has forever altered the retail and wholesale landscape and consequently, many businesses within this sector have collapsed. Victoria’s Secret, Intu Properties, Bertram Books are just some of the big-name businesses in the UK that have been tipped over the edge by Covid-19. It’s truly devastating for all retailers and wholesalers that have been affected, but arguably it’s even worse for the small businesses that are unlikely to be bought or restructured and may struggle to ever get back on their feet again.  

Research & Development within this sector  

Believe it or not, Research and Development does take place within this sector, so there is a great opportunity for businesses to claim back thousands of pounds. According to HMRC, in the 2018-19 financial year, around 7,000 R&D tax credit claims were made from wholesale and retail trade businesses. Since lockdown measures were put in place at the beginning of the year, many retailers have been forced to implement new e-commerce strategies that may have involved R&D activities.  

Other projects that may qualify for R&D tax relief in this sector might include: 

  • Implementation of new stock or enterprise software; 
  • Use of analytics to improve ecommerce online; 
  • Installing automated systems for materials or customer handling; 
  • Improving existing processes through new technology; 
  • Introducing more durable or eco-friendly packaging; 
  • New materials in products e.g. smart fabrics for the fashion/textile industry; 
  • Optimising materials in products that are lighter, thinner, stronger, brighter or cheaper 
  • Use of devices, mobile or tablet technology to improve operational efficiency. 

What businesses are there in the wholesale and retail sector? 

Businesses that fall under this sector may include:  

  • Wholesale and retail of food and beverages 
  • Wholesale and retail of household goods 
  • Wholesale and retail of a wide variety of products across all areas and industries
  • Wholesale and specialised retail trade including auto dealerships and repairs 
  • Wholesale of agricultural raw materials and live animals 
  • Wholesale of machinery, equipment and other supplies 

Over the past year, ZLX has helped a number of businesses from all different industry sectors claim back much needed cash. With so much current economic uncertainty in today’s market, R&D tax credits have never been more important than they are today. 

Our team of consultants will work with your business to help process your claim if you believe you have worked on a qualifying project/s. We offer a bespoke personalised service, with R&D experts in every sector through the UK. Not only do we help to process claims, we offer free business growth advice and will provide you with a financial planning document to enable growth and investment opportunities. 

Take our quick Pre-Consultation Questionnaire today to find out if you could qualify.