Since Tesco’s announcement on Wednesday to repay business rates reliefs to the government, a string on major supermarkets have followed its lead and pledged to do the same.
Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Morrisons have all announced in the past 24 hours to return the full value of the business rate relief that the government provided during the pandemic.
Aldi is the latest supermarket to announce the decision. Chief executive officer Giles Hurley said: “Thanks to our amazing colleagues, we have been able to remain open during lockdowns and despite the increased costs we have incurred during the pandemic, we believe returning the full value of our business rates relief is the right decision to help support the nation. Our continued investment for our colleagues and our customers will remain unchanged.”
Sainsbury’s also revealed plans to repay following a year of stronger sales and profits amid the pandemic.
The chief executive, Simon Roberts, said: “While we have incurred significant costs in keeping colleagues and customers safe, food and other essential retailers have benefited from being able to open throughout.
“With regional restrictions likely to remain in place for some time, we believe it is now fair and right to forgo the business rates relief that we have been given on all Sainsbury’s stores. We are very mindful that non-essential retailers and many other businesses have been forced to close again in the second lockdown and we hope that this goes some way towards helping them.”
Repayment to the government is not required by law, however, supermarkets faced a lot of pressure thanks to the strong trading they saw over the pandemic.
According to Sky News, Waitrose will not be returning business rates relief. Asda and the Co op have not determined their decision.