Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday fall on the same date this year, which also happens to be 100 years since the end of hostilities in the First World War.
A letter to the Times, signed by former head of the Army, General Lord Dannatt, and former first sea lord Admiral Lord West among others, read: '˜Marking as it does the centenary of the end of the First World War, we believe it would be right to mark it by ensuring that, as on Easter Day, all shops are closed that Sunday.
'˜We urge the government to bring in the simple legislation necessary to ensure this very special act of remembrance in 2018.'
The letter noted the move has been proposed and supported by the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers at its annual conference.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Culture Media and Sport said: '˜On the centenary of the end of the First World War, it is right that we come together to give thanks to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who returned home to help shape the world we live in today.
'˜We encourage everyone, whatever their connection to the war, to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice in a way that is meaningful to them.'
Currently, it is understood that businesses will be free to choose whether to open or not on the day.