New Report Claims 56 Billion Illegal Cigarettes Sold Across EU

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to a report highlighting the extent of illegal tobacco consumption across Europe, calling for immediate action to tackle the illicit trade in the UK.

The report, released today by KPMG, claims that over 56 billion illegal cigarettes were consumed in 2014 across the EU, representing 10% of total consumption. Over the last year, more than 8 in 10 illegal cigarettes consumed originated from outside the EU.

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Queen’s Speech: ACS Welcomes Measures to Support Local Shops

ACS has welcomed measures outlined in the Queen’s Speech today supporting the growth of local shops.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The new legislative agenda has a clear vision to support small stores through the Enterprise Bill so that they can make essential investments in their infrastructure, staff and local communities. We will be working with the Department for Business on ensuring that deregulation supports convenience store owners.”

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Zero Hours Exclusivity Ban Comes into Force Today

New measures have come into force today banning the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hour employment contracts.

The ban on these contracts, which prevent employees from working for another employer even though they themselves do not guarantee any hours of work, became law through the government’s Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.

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Chief Executive's Blog: Using Data Effectively

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about data – how we use and abuse it and how businesses in our sector should deal with it.  A few things have caused me to mull on this topic.

Firstly, in the wake of the general election various commentators have attacked the pollsters for failing to predict the result.  My view is that the pollsters provide one data source – it’s for the commentators to interpret this and turn it into knowledge or a forecast.  It there was a failure in the pre-election media debate, the pollsters are only responsible for a small part of it.

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ACS Talks to BBC Breakfast about Importance of Cash to Customers

ACS chief executive James Lowman appeared on BBC Breakfast this morning to talk about the ways that convenience store customers prefer to pay for their goods and services.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern, ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Cash is still very important to convenience store customers, and over half of convenience retailers offer ATMs at their store.

"However, we are seeing changes in the sector with more stores now offering card payments, and a particular growth in contactless payment."

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ACS Demonstrates Value of Local Shops to New MPs

ACS is this week sending constituency cards to all new MPs, detailing key information about the number of local shops in their area and the jobs that they create.

The 2015 General Election resulted in over 100 new MPs entering the Houses of Parliament, many of whom have been taking part in store visits with ACS members in the pre-election campaigning period.

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Local Shops Welcome Business Secretary's Enterprise Bill

The Department for Business led by new business secretary, Sajid Javid MP, have announced plans to include an Enterprise Bill in the queen’s speech next Wednesday. The Bill will focus on cutting redtape and supporting small business.

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: “The new business secretary is right to make tackling regulation a priority, and we particularly welcome his objective to tackle poor regulation across all government departments. We need to remove barriers that prevent local shops investing in their stores and staff.”

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Last Chance to Book for ACS Responsible Retailing Forum

The ACS Responsible Retailing Forum offers members an invaluable opportunity to hear from policy makers, retailers and enforcement officers about the latest compliance issues affecting them on a daily basis in the convenience sector.

The forum, taking place on the 20th May at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, will focus on the future of alcohol policy, the tobacco display ban, ACS Assured Advice and upcoming issues including carrier bags, e-cigarettes and energy drinks.

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How Well Do You Know the Tobacco Display Ban Regulations?

ACS is encouraging retailers to follow Assured Advice on the tobacco display ban to ensure compliance with the regulations. By signing up to Assured Advice (free of charge for ACS members), retailers cannot be challenged by local enforcement agencies if they are following the guidance set out through Assured Advice.

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