ACS: Interchange Fee Cut Will Hit ATM Network

ACS has condemned a move from LINK, which has today confirmed that it will reduce the interchange fee for card transactions by 5p over the next four years.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Banks have been cutting back their own branch networks, and now they are reducing the interchange fees that fund the network of ATMs provided by retailers and private companies in places that banks have abandoned.  We are concerned that this will lead to a reduction in the number of ATMs, and their reach and accessibility for all types of communities.

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ONS Reveals 10% Rise in Number of Shop Thefts

The Crime Survey for England and Wales has been published by the Office for National Statistics, showing rising shop theft on the convenience sector. 

The survey, which covers the year to September 2017, revealed that there has been an 10% increase in the number of shop thefts to 383,178 instances. This marks the second consecutive year of increases, despite an overall decline in the level of crime. 

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Book Now for the Welsh Local Shop Report Launch!

ACS is inviting retailers to attend the Cross-Party Group on Small Shops’ annual reception in the National Assembly for Wales to launch the Welsh Local Shop Report 2018.

The Welsh Local Shop Report will provide a comprehensive overview of the convenience sector in Wales and the latest trends, including profiles of the entrepreneurs that run them, the investments they make and services they provide in the community.

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GroceryAid: Support for Convenience Retailers

GroceryAid provides a confidential Helpline which is available 24/7 to assist callers across a wide range of subjects, from financial to personal issues. For people who prefer not to call in, there is a web-based range of self-help tools and advice, including online chat. For those people who are suffering from stress, anxiety and depression, the Beating the Blues programme is available. This is the only cognitive behavioural computer training package that has National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recognition as a treatment for anxiety and depression.

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Paper £10 Note to be Withdrawn from Circulation on 1 March 2018

From 1st March 2018, The Bank of England will withdraw legal tender status of the paper £10 and it will be replaced by the polymer £10 note, which first entered circulation on 14th September 2017.

The Bank of England is urging retailers to ensure that their business is prepared and follow the steps that they have outlined before March 1st.

The checklist for businesses includes:

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Peas Please Launches Veg Power Campaign

Peas Please has launched a new campaign calling for a dedicated advertising fund to improve the image of vegetables for consumers.

The campaign calls for a dedicated Veg Ad Fund, made up of contributions from the Government, retailers and producers that would enable vegetables to receive marketing investment that will see veg advertising compete with branded chocolates, fast food outlets and soft-drinks.

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What future for plastics?

It’s been a big start to the year for plastic. Last week Theresa May’s speech on a long-term plan for the environment was heavily focused on how to cut back the use of plastic, and particularly to reduce plastic in the oceans. Now Iceland (the retailer, not the country in the North Atlantic, although maybe they will also be doing this at some point soon) has pledged to end plastic packaging on their own-brand products by 2023. Given that many of the products that you, as a convenience retailer, will stock are packaged in plastic, what does this mean for you?

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ACS Welcomes Proposals to Reform the Welsh Business Rates Appeals System

ACS has responded to the Welsh Government consultation on reforming the business rates appeals system, calling for greater transparency for the data used to arrive at valuations and warning against repeating the new ‘Check, Challenge, Appeal’ appeals system in England.  

The Welsh Government’s consultation aims to reduce speculative appeals and includes proposals to introduce fees for ratepayers and amend time limits for the VOA and VTW at each stage of an appeal.

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