13th May 2019

Why Tesco's call for an online sales tax won't save the high street

In response to Tesco's CEO calling for a digital sales tax, our research director Sam Dumitriu says:


"Taxing online sales won’t save the high street. But it will stifle the disruptive startups who, through innovation, offer better services and expanded consumer choice.


“It will punish internet companies for having managed to carve out a more efficient business model, which translates into gains for the consumer in the form of lower prices and, often, added convenience.


“And it will penalise the shops that have adapted to changing consumer demands, by diversifying into e-commerce.


“A cut to Business Rates will only help in the short-term. Past evidence shows that commercial landlords respond to cuts by raising rents, leaving shopkeepers no better off.


“Within three years three-quarters of a cut to rates will be reflected in higher rents. The only retailers who will benefit are those with large property portfolios, like Tesco.”

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