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A medieval comment prompts the FSB to defend our high streets calling Tesco's boss "out of touch"

Thursday, February 07, 2013 PR/2013/08

FSB News Release
PR 2013 08

Issue date: Wednesday 6 February 2013
A medieval comment prompts the FSB to defend our high streets calling Tesco's boss "out of touch"
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) was disappointed to read Sir Terry Leahy, the former boss of Tesco, describe the rise of supermarkets and the closure of small shops as ‘progress'.
Through its Keep Trade Local campaign the FSB highlights the important role that high streets play in the local area and their importance to the local economy. Research shows that more money spent in local shops stays in the local economy compared to that spent in a supermarket.
Many high streets have re-invented themselves, looking at innovative ways to encourage people to shop locally. Furthermore, several FSB regions recently took their local MPs on Christmas Shopping Crawls to show them the problems local businesses in their area face.
The FSB recognises that many supermarkets will always be a part of everyday life. Many supermarkets do work well with local small businesses, selling locally sources produce. However, they could do more. 
Mike Cherry, National Policy Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
"There is no doubt that the high street is going through change, but these comments are unhelpful, out of touch and undermine the reality that businesses face on the ground. Shop closures put people off going to the high street to shop meaning the firms that remain continue to struggle. The cost of parking also puts people off – especially when supermarkets and out of town centres have free spaces.
"Local shops help to provide jobs in the area, while being able to source good quality products. I am disappointed that the high street – the heart of local communities – has been disregarded in this way."
Notes to editors
1. The FSB is the UK's leading business organisation with around 200,000 members. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the UK's Real-Life Entrepreneurs who run their own business. More information is available at
2. Story can be found on the BBC website
3. Find out more about the Keep Trade Local campaign
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