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Election Centre 2024

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called a General Election on 4th July, where the nation will go to the polls to choose the next Government. 

Whoever forms the next Government, the General Election campaign is a great opportunity for retailers to make a case to the candidates standing in their constituency about the importance of their businesses. 

The ACS Election Centre will be here throughout the campaign, providing updates on major pledges and announcements, discussion on the implications of the election, analysis of the manifestos as they become available, and tips on how to get the most out of store visits.  

As part of our election campaigning activity, we've put together a tool that allows you to see the candidates that are standing in every one of the 650 constituencies across the UK, and with one click, send an email out to the candidates asking to arrange a visit to your store, as well as generating constituency level data about the importance of convenience stores in your local area. 

We also have dedicated guidance for retailers on what to expect on a store visit, which is available to download here. 

Check out the Election Map and Store Visit tool here



How to Run a Store Visit

Getting your local parliamentary candidates to visit your store is a great way of building a relationship with your future MP and making sure they understand what our sector needs from the next government.

You can use the emailing tool in our Election Centre to contact your parliamentary candidate(s). Simply click here, enter your postcode, select the candidates you want to invite, and it will automatically generate and send an email for you. During an election campaign, there are no Members of Parliament; instead, they are parliamentary candidates. It is up to you if you invite all the candidates or just one. If you are inviting more than one candidate to visit your store, we recommend you arrange separate meeting times.

When the candidate arrives at your store, introduce yourself and your store team, give them a quick tour of the shop to show them what you offer the community, and most importantly, offer them a cup of tea! 

Parliamentary candidates will be most interested in local issues affecting your business, employees and the local community. For example, discuss what is affecting trade in your area, concerns about anti-social behaviour, or information about local groups and charities you work with. 

Three key questions you can ask them during the visits that are important to local shops: 

  • What are your plans to tackle shop theft, violence and abuse towards shopworkers? 
  • How will you help businesses invest and improve the places we trade, like town centres and local parades? 
  • How will you support businesses like mine with the cost of employing people?

It’s really important that you ask to get a photo with the candidate and share it on social media using the hashtag #MyLocalShop.   

Why Local Shops Matter

  • The UK's 49,000+ convenience stores trade in more communities than any other type of shop or service, offering a broad range of products and a growing range of services including Post Offices, parcel collection, prescription collections and cash machines. 
  • Convenience stores are at the heart of their communities, ranking as one of the services that has the most positive impact alongside pharmacies and Post Offices; 79% of stores contribute to charity, voluntary and community activity. 
  • 437,000 people work in secure, flexible, local employment provided by convenience store retailers; colleagues feel valued and their work fits around care, study and other commitments.  
  • Convenience stores make a huge contribution to the UK economy, generating over £47bn in sales over the last year, investing over £646m in their businesses.

Download the full briefing for candidates on Why Local Shops Matter here.

The ACS Local Shop Report is a great tool for highlighting the importance of the convenience sector. You can download the Local Shop Report here

What Happens Next? 

Now that the dissolution of Parliament has taken place, all seats in the House of Commons are vacant and MPs become Prospective Parliamentary Candidates, campaigning against candidates in other parties in each constituency. As the main parties publish their manifestos (their plan for Government if elected), we will provide analysis and comparison on what the proposals mean for the convenience sector. 

Throughout the campaign, we'll be engaging with candidates on what local shops want from the next Government. This includes key areas like tackling violence and abuse, incentivising investment, and recognising the secure, local and flexible employment that local shops provide. A one page briefing on our priorities is available here. 

Contact Us

If you'd like to get in touch with us about arranging a store visit or anything else to do with the election, details for our Public Affairs team are below:

Jordan Newfield, Public Affairs Manager: [email protected]

Daniel Askew, Public Affairs Executive: [email protected]

Willem Van de Ven, Public Affairs Executive: [email protected] 

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