Ocado CEO Tim Steiner: "More high street shops should shut"


Tim Steiner, head of the Ocado online grocery, has called for high street retailers to stop complaining about business rates.

“Bricks and mortar retailers need to shut more shops and stop moaning about it,” he said.

Steiner said that online retailers should not have to shoulder the burden of business rates, which only apply currently to high street shops.

“Some bricks and mortar retailers have started to blame business rates for the problems on the high street, which is wrong. They are jumping on the back of the Amazon tax debate,” he said.

“It is nothing to do with online retail that is causing the problems in the UK and we shouldn’t burden online retailers.”

By contrast, fashion giant Sir Philip Green warned against the heavy burden of business rates and called for a radical overhaul.

Speaking to the Telegraph, the Topshop boss said there should be a “rates holiday” for small shop owners.

“Small shops cannot afford to trade,” he said. “They need a bit of help. A freeze on business rates would not need legislative change.”