ACS Blog

Energy Drinks

There's been a lot of debate recently about the sale of energy drinks to children.  It's interesting to see the dynamics of this issue: Jamie Oliver, buoyed by his success in persuading the government to introduce a levy on sugary drinks, has now turned his sights directly to the retailers who sell high caffeine drinks.  How do you, as a retailer, and we, as a trade body, respond to such a campaign?

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Local Shops in Wales

We had a really great day in Cardiff last week, launching the Welsh Local Shop Report which gives all the facts and figures on the contribution that our members make to communities and the economy in Wales.  It’s a really positive story: more store per head than any other part of the UK, 25,000 jobs, £49m of investment, and a higher proportion of that going into providing essential services like post offices and free-to-use ATMs.

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What future for plastics?

It’s been a big start to the year for plastic. Last week Theresa May’s speech on a long-term plan for the environment was heavily focused on how to cut back the use of plastic, and particularly to reduce plastic in the oceans. Now Iceland (the retailer, not the country in the North Atlantic, although maybe they will also be doing this at some point soon) has pledged to end plastic packaging on their own-brand products by 2023. Given that many of the products that you, as a convenience retailer, will stock are packaged in plastic, what does this mean for you?

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When the worst happens

You will I’m sure have been as shocked and appalled as me, our team here, and our members at the death of Vijay Patel, a retailer in Mill Hill, north London. First, the facts as we know them: late on Saturday night three teenagers tried to buy age restricted products, Mr Patel and a member of his team correctly refused the sale, and in response they were attacked. Mr Patel died as a result of the injuries he sustained, his colleague’s injuries are not life threatening.

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Mixed Messages on Shop Theft

You may have seen and heard ACS in the media over Christmas talking about some changes to the way the police and courts and government are responding to shop theft. There are a couple of separate issues at play here, and this is what they mean for you.

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Review of the Year (part two)

One of the fun if slightly surreal parts of my job is responding to members and others asking me to forecast what’s going to happen next in politics.  Such forecasts are always a bit of guesswork, and the best anyone can really do is analyse the factors at play and come up with some sort of rationale for what might happen next.  I also have a rule that if you want to know what’s likely to happen in an election, listen to the person least connected with the Westminster village where rumours and granular message crafting and media spin cloud the fundamentals of how people in the country at la

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Review of the Year (part one)

It’s that time of year when we reflect on the past twelve months, and we usually see plenty of superlatives from experts and commentators hailing the most significant change, the biggest, most profound impacts on the future.  2017, though, might just have earned the hyperbole where the convenience store sector is concerned. 

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ATMs in focus atm

We were pleased to see Nicky Morgan MP, chair of the Treasury Select Committee, write today to the chairman of LINK, the group that manages the UK’s ATM network, about their proposals to reduce the interchange fees that banks pay to businesses providing ATMs.  I think this is important for convenience stores and the eco system of local businesses that we trade alongside, and I’ll explain why, but first, here’s a very quick primer on how the ATM system works (if you know all this, skip a paragraph).

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A Budget for business?

It’s interesting to see how Budgets have changed over the years. Generally, they’re more interesting (which also means more worrying and unpredictable) when the Chancellor is an ambitious politician mapping out their route from number 11 to number 10 Downing Street. Under Gordon Brown and George Osborne, Budgets were a tour taking in social policy and economic philosophy, a manifesto for the Chancellor as much as a report on the public finances. Philip Hammond strikes a different figure, very obviously constrained by the tight economic and political position he finds himself in, carefully t

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