Lidl has agreed to refund over £100 million in business rates relief the supermarket chain received due to the pandemic.
The retailer said: “Looking ahead, as footfall in stores continues to grow, Lidl GB is well placed to manage any further changes to the business as a result of the pandemic, and therefore has brought forward plans to return the relief. The discounter will work with the UK Government and devolved administrations on the best way to facilitate this.”
The government earlier this year announced the business rates holiday, which expires at the end of March 2021, to help retailers and restaurant operators try and ride out the virus crisis.
A number of supermarket giants this week announced they would repay the business rates relief to the UK Government and the devolved administrations.
Many firms in the sector have faced severe criticism for taking the support while seeing high customer demand during the pandemic and paying out dividends to shareholders.
Christian Härtnagel, chief executive of Lidl GB said: “The business rates relief that was provided to us, and the rest of the supermarket sector, came with a lot of responsibility that we took extremely seriously.
“We’ve been considering this for some time, and we are now in a position to confirm that we will be refunding this money as we believe it is the right thing to do. We feel confident that the business is well positioned to navigate and adapt to any further challenges brought by Covid-19.”