ACS Blog

Why We're Creating 25,000 Dementia Friends

This week we launched a major new campaign to create 25,000 new Dementia Friends in our sector. You’ll see lots of information about the campaign on our website and on social media, and if you have any questions call me or anyone from the ACS team and we’ll make sure you have everything you need to become a Dementia Friend and to help your colleagues to do the same.

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The Cost Equation

I’m writing this on New Years Eve against the backdrop of two important stories for our sector. Firstly, we planned to use today to publicise our concerns about recent reductions in the LINK interchange fee that funds free to use ATMs, and to argue for future increases to be scrapped. LINK really needs to reverse the 10% reductions they’ve already made, which have led to lots of our members seeing their free to use cash machine apply charges, or be lost altogether.

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Chief Executive's Blog: Thanks, Patrick!

Hopefully you notice that the blogs I write here, and other ACS statements and our own social media outputs tend to focus on what’s happening outside of ACS. This is very deliberate: the process of how we make decisions and operate isn’t usually that interesting and members pay us to interact with politics and the market, not to focus on ourselves. In fact when I took over as chief executive, it was an explicit target I set myself to spend far more of our resources and profile looking externally.

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The First Hundred Days

One of the truisms that political historians keep repeating is that the hundred days of a new leader are the most important, firstly because they are the most productive, and secondly because they set the tone for the rest of their time in office. The second reason there is usually true, but I’m not sure the new UK Prime Minister will regard this as the optimal time to get things done.

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Unpacking the Packaging Regulations

I’ve just looked back on a blog I wrote in September about the Scottish Government’s proposals to introduce a deposit return scheme. Now here we are five months later looking at proposals for a scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. I won’t cover the same ground as I did back then, other than to say that our response to DEFRA will be very similar: looking at how such a scheme could work in practice, and particularly what role our sector can play without creating disproportionate problems.

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Crimes Reported vs Crimes Committed

The Office for National Statistics recently published new figures on different types of crime in England and Wales, including a range of offences that sometimes have as their victims convenience store retailers and their staff. The figure that got the most attention (in our sector at least) was the small decline in reported shop theft. It’s well worth exploring this statistic and looking at what it actually tells us.

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Immigration Policy: Impact on the Convenience Sector

The UK’s approach to immigration, announced on Wednesday 19 December with the publication of a consultation paper on the rules that we will enforce after the UK’s exit from the European Union, will of course have implications for the convenience sector. From talking with government officials and members, and consulting our own research, my assessment is that the secondary impacts of this policy will be greater than the primary impacts.

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Brexit

So what do you think’s going to happen, then?  No deal, no Brexit, Theresa May’s deal, or some other option as yet undefined? It’s a big part of ACS’ job to be the fulcrum between what happens in politics and what happens in your business, and I think we’re pretty good at providing new and informed analysis to you, and giving credible and evidence-based input to government when it comes to issues related to our sector. On Brexit, frankly, this is a lot harder. It’s the biggest, and certainly the most fever-pitched debate and development in British politics in a generation, and one which cer

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