Guidance for Retailers on Psychoactive Substances Regulations

ACS has published new guidance on the Psychoactive Substances Act, which came into force on May 26th.

The primary purpose of the new legislation is to stop the sale of items that are commonly known as ‘legal highs’. However, the Act will also have implications for responsible retailers, which in many cases will sell potentially psychoactive substances such as butane and solvents entirely legitimately.

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ACS Calls for Focus on Tackling Business Crime

ACS has responded to the Labour party’s consultation on the future of crime and policing policy, calling for a focus on business crime, especially violent offences and shop theft.

In the submission, ACS highlighted that business crime cost convenience retailers an estimated £122million in 2015. Taking into account the amount retailers invest in crime prevention measures, the total cost of crime per store was £3,750. This is equivalent to a 3pence crime tax on every customer transaction.

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Book Now for the ACS / PRA Forecourt Seminar and Dinner

Time is running out to secure your spot for the upcoming ACS/PRA Forecourt Seminar and Dinner on 6 July in Birmingham. The event will be packed with exciting ideas and concepts for both existing forecourt retailers and convenience retailers looking to expand their store’s offering to include selling fuel.

There is now a new confirmed speaker, John Murray, of AF Blakemore who will give a presentation focusing on the local shop with fuel.

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ACS Responds to CMA Retail Banking Market Investigation

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed the provisional findings of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) following its investigation into retail banking services. ACS supports the CMA’s recommendations to encourage competition amongst retail banks, improve transparency in finance offers, and make it easier for businesses to compare and switch financial providers.

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Information for Retailers on New Polymer Banknotes

Ahead of the new £5 polymer note entering circulation on 13 September 2016, the Bank of England has provided training materials to help retailers identify the new security features on the £5 polymer bank note.

The new note will be smaller than the current £5 note, and printed on polymer, which is a thin flexible plastic material. Polymer notes last longer and stay cleaner. The notes will also have advanced security features that make them more difficult to counterfeit.

Retailers are being advised to check for the multiple security features within the new banknotes:

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Local Shop Investment Tempered by Rising Employment Costs

The latest ACS (Association of Convenience Stores) Investment Tracker shows that local shops have invested £600m in their businesses over the past twelve months, including a record £181m in the last quarter.  However, investment levels per store are down compared to the same period last year, and ACS is concerned that investment, particularly among smaller independent retailers, is being delayed as they come to terms with rising employment costs such as the National Living Wage and auto-enrolment pensions.

Key findings from the survey include:

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Ofgem Highlight Need for Further Microbusiness Engagement in Energy Market

Ofgem have published their annual report, “Micro and Small Business Engagement in Energy Markets”, examining how businesses across England, Wales and Scotland engage in the energy market.

The report found that satisfaction with the renegotiation or extension process is high, but that the 10% who say they are dissatisfied with the process highlight price increases, poor communication and renewing without the businesses knowledge.

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