ACS Calls for Positive Measures to Support the High Street

ACS has responded to the Royal Society for Public Health’s report on the high street, calling for positive measures to support innovation on the high street instead of regulatory interventions.

The report, “Health on the High Street” released today, focuses much of its attention on restricting the activity of fast food outlets, betting shops and payday lenders, but also calls for the following interventions which would have an impact on convenience stores:

  • Tighter controls on the numbers of premises licensed to sell alcohol
  • Health as a condition for licensing of all types of businesses
  • Limits on the proportion of each type of business on a high street
  • Moving snack foods away from checkouts and queueing areas
  • Moving e-cigarettes away from next to checkouts
  • Giving councils the power to impose higher business rates on certain types of business

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “If the measures in this report were introduced it would have a significant impact on jobs, investment and innovation on the high street. Government should focus on supporting businesses show want to change and innovate, instead of increasing regulations, high street planning red tape and restrictions on promotions and store layouts.

“Local shops increasingly offer consumers a range of healthy products; with fresh fruit and vegetables being the fastest growing category in the convenience store sector. Consumers are drinking less alcohol and locals shops are responding by providing lower alcohol products.  Consumers are looking to control calorie intake, and local shops are responding by offering low and no calorie soft drinks and other healthier options.  Regulators should support these changes, not cut across them.

“These proposals would also reduce the positive impact that local shops are able to make on communities like support for local charities, reducing isolation in the community and encouraging physical activity through sponsorship of local sports teams.”

ACS’ Local Shop Report 2014 shows that sales of fresh fruit and vegetables rose 8.4% on the previous year.  ACS’ Voice of Local Shops Survey of 1,100 retailers shows that convenience stores have a positive impact on their community with 86% of retailers collecting money for charity and one third providing sponsorship for local sports teams.

The full report is available on the RSPH website here:


This entry was posted by Chris on Thu, 26/03/2015 - 12:09