‘Grocers like the Co-op should not be vilified for holding on to rates relief’


Before making this point, let’s be perfectly clear: I was among those who expected the Co-op to repay its business rates relief this week.

In the build-up to its full-year results on Thursday, it appeared odds-on that a business that prides itself on its values, its work in communities and doing things ‘the Co-op way’ would bow to mounting pressure and hand back the cash given to it by the government during the coronavirus crisis.

I was as surprised as anyone when the mutual instead said that it would hand back the £15.5m it received from the government through the furlough scheme, but not the tens of millions in additional support it has been given in business rates relief since the start of the pandemic last March.  

Surprised? Yes. Angry? Certainly not.

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.

Retail Week

Register for free to continue reading

Retail-Week.com provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • Two free article views per calendar month on Retail-Week.com
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.