Tesco CEO Dave Lewis & Co-op CEO Steve Murrells join forces to save the high street

Tesco CEO Dave Lewis & Co-op CEO Steve Murrells join forces to save the high street
The open letter from Tesco CEO Dave Lewis & Co-op CEO Steve Murrells was published in The Daily Mail today.
// Tesco CEO Dave Lewis & Co-op CEO Steve Murrells publish open letter urging the government to reform business rates
// The letter proposed a “two-part shake-up” to business rates to “save the high street”

The chief executives of both Tesco and the Co-op have co-written an open letter that details a “two-part shake-up” to business rates to “save the high street”.

Published in the Daily Mail,  the letter from Tesco’s Dave Lewis and the Co-op’s Steve Murrells urged the government to slash business rates for all retailers by 20 per cent.

In place, they proposed the introduction of a two per cent online sales levy on the sale of physical goods.


Their open letter was published the same day as the Treasury committee report on business rates, which called on the government to explain why business rates have grown faster than inflation since 1990 and urged them fix the “broken” system.

Lewis and Murrels said their proposals would be “revenue-neutral”, would “stimulate investments” in the sector and would upgrade the “outdated” business rates system so that all retailers – both online and bricks-and-mortar – are “contributing a fair sum to local taxes”.

They also highlighted how 7500 stores shut around the UK last year, and pointed to further closures and job losses this year.

The duo then urged the government to “take urgent action” to help the retail industry.

They also argued that the current business rates regime made the UK “less competitive”, especially when there were efforts to “boost the UK’s position as an investment destination cracking the problem of business rates is essential”.

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  1. Hi ,I was in retail 40 years in the market town of Newark on Trent. Being co concerned about the state of business and the high cost of rates, High parking charges I founded with my associates (accountant bank manager local press) the Newark Business Club in 2000. The idea to get action o those issues for fellow shop keepers. Unfortunately the local and some ‘professional’s don’t see this as a priority. Instead of running down the heart and soul of these shops the council should treat them as an endangered species
    and put out the welcome mat !!
    I applaud Da e Lewis and his Co op colleague
    for realising this state.
    Kind regards
    former owner Staples Cycles founder NBC.

  2. It was one stop shopping that was the most popular destination in britten for every thing you need for the cupboard ,frige/freezer ,rooms to get the comfort &convenience then the need to be greedy sentenced small businesses out at the power of couldn’t price match on anything that was high volume like food Jack Cohen model superiority words stack them high sell it cheap now the greedy investors want stacked shares with empathy to make it more money with no staff another cost cutting excerise would make the h.g.v drivers redundant in exchange for driver less trucks so who’s going to pay the biggest cash cow the government got the licence holder born and lives in uk mainland China please buy gt britten out and get us back to work

  3. Think of the High Street through a shopper psychology lens. Shoppers drove to town, bought provisions, loaded them in their cars (outside the store), then went home again. Simples!

    The councils started pedestrianising High Streets an charging people to park in town centres: In other words, adding friction to the process of shopping. Some clever people built some big shops in fields on the outskirts of towns and said to shoppers, come and park here, right by the shops, for FREE. Welcome the the out of town shopping centre.

    Some 40 years later, how have councils reacted – For the most part, they just haven’t, preferring to increase parking charges and business rates, to try and generate more revenue from both shoppers and retailers.

    So although I welcome the letter from Tesco and The Co-op, I fear it is way too little, 40 years too late.

    I believe the answer lies in the following 2 pronged approach:

    1, Ask psychologists to help revive the High Street

    2, Tell the economists to just ‘s*d off’, as they and their spreadsheets are responsible for so much of this mess.

  4. Sorry but the likes of Tesco and the coop and other big players are the ones killing the high street. People are either going on the net or shopping out of town to avoid parking charges. I am not saying that it’s all the big players but the opening of mini Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s etc is certainly a major factor. My high street now looks like a ghost town. It needs councils and other players to come together and help to save the high streets before they die all together.


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