Selfridges FD warns against euro adoption

A cross-party trade and industry committee was told that transition to the single currency would cost smaller retail operations on average two and a half times more than the big chains.

Williams, who has been finance director of leading retail chain Selfridges since 1990, argued small shops could not ride through the transition like the big retailers with the benefit of economies of scale.

Business groups giving evidence have called for greater certainty over thetiming and likelihood of British entry to the single market.

Williams added that factors that would effect the extent of the costs, includethe speed withdrawal from sterling and technical change made in advance.

The flexibility of price legislation and the extent of the government’sinformation campaign could also vary the cost, he claimed.

Williams called for government help for retailers to meet the cost of joiningthe Euro, and said that costs needed to be kept as low as possible through a’well planned and carefully staged conversion’.

The Treasury’s refusal earlier this year to estimate the cost of transition intwo changeover plans sparked the committee inquiry into the euro.

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