New E-Cigarette and Tobacco Laws Come into Force Tomorrow

From 1st October, it will be illegal to sell e-cigarettes or e-liquids to children under the age of 18 and the proxy purchase of both tobacco and e-cigarette products will also be illegal.

Retailers will need to check that a person is over the age of 18 before selling them e-cigarettes or associated products, such as refill cartridges and batteries, or they could receive an on the spot fine of £50.

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Living Wage Introduction Will Lead to Job Losses, Delayed Investment and Business Closures

The Association of Convenience Stores has submitted new evidence to the Low Pay Commission, detailing the thousands of jobs that will be lost in the convenience sector as a result of the introduction of the National Living Wage in 2016.

ACS has estimated that in 2016, the introduction of the living wage at £7.20 per hour for workers over 25 will cost the sector in excess of £167m.

When asked about the impact of the Living Wage, retailers said that they would take the following steps to keep their business afloat:

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Investment Falls as Retailers Brace for Impact of 2015 Budget

Investment levels in the convenience sector have fallen by 35% over the last three months as retailers prepare for the introduction of the National Living Wage.

Over the last three months, convenience stores across the UK have invested £116m in their businesses compared to £177m in the previous quarter.

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ACS Says No to Tobacco Register in Wales

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) gave evidence to the Welsh Assembly Health and Social Care Committee today on proposals in the Public Health Bill to introduce a Tobacco Register for retailers.

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Sunday Trading Plans Would Harm High Street, Cost Jobs and Threaten Local Shops

The Association of Convenience Stores has warned that Government plans to remove Sunday trading hours are unpopular, will cost jobs and damage high streets.

In its submission to the Government’s consultation on devolving the power to set Sunday trading rules locally, ACS has revealed the results of a survey of local authority chief executives showing that the measure would benefit out of town stores over high streets and town centres.

The survey showed:

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Everyday Entrepreneurs Inquiry Hosts Second Evidence Session

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Small Shops held their second oral evidence session into their Everyday Entrepreneurs Inquiry in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Simon Danczuk MP, Luke Hall MP and David Warburton MP led the questioning of entrepreneurs and trade association leaders.

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GroceryAid: Health and Wellbeing Initiative Brings Help for Independents

The new health and wellbeing section of the GroceryAid website launched this week is aimed in particular at the needs of the independent sector as it offers a whole range of support, regardless of the size of the business. It was created following feedback from their annual industry research and offers comprehensive guidance and support for everyone in the grocery industry.

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ACS Welcomes Jelf into Connect Membership

ACS has announced that Jelf, has joined as a Connect member. Jelf is an award-winning insurance broker and financial consultancy. They are able to offer ACS members quotes and advice, helping get the right level of insurance to ensure convenience stores are adequately covered.

Jelf chief executive, Phil Barton said: “We are delighted to become a member of ACS; we are looking forward to working with the association and its members to provide our expert advice and our insurance offering within the shop sector.”

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Investment Survey Closes Today - Respond Now

ACS is calling on retailers to respond to the ACS Investment Tracker Survey looking at the convenience sector's investment priorities over the last three months which closes today.

The short survey's responses support ACS' work in Parliament, representing the contribution local shops make to the country's economy. The Investment Tracker also shows government the potential impact that policy decisions, such as the introduction of the National Living Wage, can have on small businesses' ability and willingness to invest in their store.

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