Welsh Local Shop Report: Independent Retailers Crucial to Welsh Convenience Sector

The Association of Convenience Stores’ 2017 Welsh Local Shop Report reveals the essential contribution that convenience stores make to the Welsh economy, generating £309m in sales and employing 25,000 people.

The report demonstrates the importance of independent retailers in Wales, with 89% of stores being small businesses. Convenience stores in Wales also have a unique reach into every community, with two thirds of stores located in rural and isolated areas.

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Tesco and Booker Announce Merger

Tesco and Booker Group have announced a merger in a deal estimated to be worth £3.7bn.

Responding to the announcement, ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said:

“The Tesco and Booker merger is a hugely significant deal that demonstrates how important independent convenience stores are to the UK retail market.  Ten years ago, pundits were forecasting the demise of independent retailers at the hands of big competitors like Tesco, so the decision by Tesco to invest in supplying those same retailers shows that the independent sector is highly relevant and sustainable.

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Four-Month Countdown for Standardised Packaging and Tobacco Products Directive

With four months to go until the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Regulations and Tobacco Products Directive comes into force, ACS is urging retailers to familiarise themselves with the legislation. The one year sell-through period for retailers to sell through branded packs  is coming to an end, and by 20th May 2017 retailers must ensure that all their stock is compliant with the new regulations.

From this date, retailers will only be able to sell tobacco in standardised packaging, in a minimum pack size of 20 for cigarettes and 30g packs for roll your own tobacco.

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Chief Executive's Blog: Rural Shop Report Reminds Us About Convenience Stores’ Reach and Value

We’ve had a great response to our first Rural Shop Report, which takes data from our flagship Local Shop Report to paint a picture of the 19,128 rural convenience stores serving villages and surrounding areas.  It was about a year ago that we first took the idea of producing this report to the Rural Shops Alliance, and while sadly that organisation has now folded, we saw no reason not to share the story and the statistics about rural shops with a wider audience.  As well as lots of national and local media coverage, the report has been launched in parliament to a packed room of MPs interest

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ONS Crime Figures Reveal Shop Theft Continues to Rise

The Office for National Statistics have released its annual figures on shoplifting, showing a 5% increase, the highest volume of shop theft since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in 2003.

The figures show that there were approximately 349,296 incidents of shop theft in the year ending September 2016, which is over 17,000 more incidents than the previous year.

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Complete the ACS Colleague Survey for a Chance to Win One of 20 £50 High Street Vouchers

ACS is calling on staff working in convenience stores to complete the 2017 Colleague Survey, with 20 high street vouchers worth £50 each up for grabs in a prize draw for those who complete the survey.

The findings of the Colleague Survey will inform ACS’ engagements with Government and research projects such as the Local Shop Report. The survey will also provide data on staff recruitment and prospects, employment patterns, job satisfaction, and personal commitments.

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ACS: ‘Sector Deal’ Will Enhance Relationships Between Government and Retailers

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed the Government’s Green Paper on Industrial Strategy and is committed to working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to develop a ‘sector deal’ for the retail sector, addressing issues such as developing skills and supporting businesses to start and grow.

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More Support Needed for UK's 19,000 Rural Shops and Post Offices

The Association of Convenience Stores has called on the government to help secure the future of the UK's 19,128 rural shops, allowing them to continue to provide essential services like the Post Office for customers that would otherwise be isolated.

The report reveals that rural shops are often the only place where customers in their local area can get essential goods and services. More than half of rural stores (59%) operate entirely on their own, with no other retail/service businesses close by.

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ACS Calls for Tobacco Register Plans to Be Scrapped in Public Health (Wales) Bill Evidence Session

ACS has given evidence to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee on the Public Health Wales Bill, calling on plans for a tobacco register in Wales to be scrapped in favour of strengthening the existing sanctions available to enforcement authorities.

During the evidence session on the Bill, ACS acknowledged the significant negative impact that the illicit tobacco market has on both legitimate retailers and the Treasury, but suggested to the Committee that introducing a retailer tobacco register would not be effective in tackling the illicit trade.

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Book Your Place at Summit 2017

Tickets are now on sale for the ACS Summit, an unmissable industry event for convenience retailers. The conference will take place in Birmingham on the 25th of April 2017.

Summit17 will bring retailers, suppliers, and industry experts from around the world together to explore the successes and challenges of the industry and discuss new ideas retailers can walk away with.

This year’s Summit will be divided into three thought-provoking sessions, each segment with a guest speaker and followed by a panel discussion.

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