ACS Blog

Chief Executive's Blog: Small Business Hustings

I’m really buzzing after a great hustings event today run by ACS with our friends at the Federation of Small Businesses.  After a general election campaign that has often seen politicians lurching from loudhailer sloganeering to robotic repetition of focus group-tested messages, with some pretty poor TV debates thrown in, today’s event saw my faith restored in good quality, substantive debate on the issues that matter to small shops, small businesses, and the communities we all serve.

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Rates System in Need of Change to Help Retailers Invest

In recent weeks, the Chancellor has come under fire from all sides over the impact of the business rates revaluation, with many claiming that the impact on their businesses could be catastrophic. In the convenience sector, as with many others, the reality is that there will be both winners and losers when the new rates take effect in April.

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Chief Executive’s Blog: Rural Shop Report Reminds Us About Convenience Stores’ Reach and Value

We’ve had a great response to our first Rural Shop Report, which takes data from our flagship Local Shop Report to paint a picture of the 19,128 rural convenience stores serving villages and surrounding areas.  It was about a year ago that we first took the idea of producing this report to the Rural Shops Alliance, and while sadly that organisation has now folded, we saw no reason not to share the story and the statistics about rural shops with a wider audience.  As well as lots of national and local media coverage, the report has been launched in parliament to a packed room of MPs interest

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Chief Executive's Blog: What Impact Brexit will have on the Convenience Sector

What does today’s speech by Theresa May, outlining the UK’s approach to Brexit, mean for the convenience store sector?  The markets appear to have responded positively, I expect because they now have a bit more certainty (or at least some sort of clue) about what the UK’s future relationship with Europe might look like.  Is our sector similarly encouraged?

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Convenience Stores Up or Down?

Some of you may have seen an excellent new report by the Local Data Company which discusses whether we are reaching saturation point for the number of convenience stores in UK towns.

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What Should Retailers Expect from the Chancellor on Business Rates?

There’s plenty of discussion in the media about business rates policy, with most retail and wider business groups agreeing there needs to be a change to the way rates are calculated and collected (see businesses organisations agreed position here). But what specifics should we expect, or hope for, when the Chancellor stands up on Wednesday?

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Sunday Trading: How You Made a Difference

Well, that went well.  Not many organisations can put defeating the government on their CV, but after yesterday’s Commons vote against devolving Sunday trading laws, ACS, Usdaw and the rest of the Keep Sunday Special campaign can claim this rare distinction.  There will be plenty of time to reflect on the details of the campaign, and plenty of people to thank for their contribution, but I wanted to write about the role that individual retailers can play in making real change in politics.

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Government Sunday Trading Analysis... based on Sweden in 1972

Today’s publication of the government’s response to their public consultation is a chance to see their analysis all the evidence that has been put forward by groups like us, and also those who favour longer Sunday opening hours.  There’s a team in the Department for Business running this consultation, which launched over six months ago, analysing responses and reviewing the evidence.

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