Crimestoppers and ACS Offer Reward for Information on Watford Retailer Murder

Independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers and the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) are offering a reward of up to £10,000 for information leading to the location, arrest and conviction of Michael McInerney

The 32-year-old, of no fixed abode, was arrested in connection with the murder of shop owner Arulchelvam Prasanna last year but failed to answer bail and is still on the run from police.

Father-of-one Mr Prasanna, from Watford, was found with severe head injuries in a Costco car park in Hartspring Lane, Bushey, Watford, at 2.45pm on May 26, 2013.

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Retailers Urged to Prepare for Display Ban Implementation

ACS is urging retailers to be prepared for the implementation of the tobacco display ban.

In April 2015, stores under 3000 sq ft will have to cover their tobacco displays. Larger stores have been subject to the display ban legislation since 2012.

When the display rule comes in, smokers will continue to be able to buy their cigarettes and tobacco exactly as they do now, and the new rules will not limit availability.

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James' Blog: Tackling Duty Fraud through Licensing Law

Two alcohol policy issues close to ACS’ heart are duty fraud and licensing law, and I think these are more closely linked than you might think.  Once in a while, we hear that alcohol harm is linked to the growth in the number of off licences, with responsible and irresponsible retailers lumped in together when their impact on the areas where they trade could not be more different.

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Great British High Street Competition Winners Announced

The national Great British High Street competition, launched by the Future High Street Forum, celebrates the achievements of local people in making their high streets great places to live, work and shop.

The winners were selected across a range of categories for their ability to innovate, collaborate and adapt to changing consumer habits.

Judges visited 21 shortlisted areas and the winners are:

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Local Shops Welcome Small Business Lending Investigation

Local shops have welcomed the announcement from the Competition Markets Authority to conduct a full market investigation into lending to the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) market.  The investigation will look specifically at lending to SMEs and core products such as business current accounts.

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: “We welcome the CMA decision to investigate SME lending. Access to finance and fair bank charges are key to ensuring that local shops can grow and create more jobs in their communities.

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Retailers and MPs Gather at Heart of the Community Conference

ACS’ annual political conference, Heart of the Community, took place in Westminster, London on 21st October. The event, chaired by journalist Daisy McAndrew, gave over 100 convenience store retailers the chance to hear how politics affects their businesses and provided a platform for them to speak directly to MPs about day-to-day issues.

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Retailers Seek Reassurances on Tobacco Tax Reform

ACS has called on Ministers to provide reassurance about tackling the illegal tobacco trade in face of proposals to introduce a new minimum excise tax for tobacco.

The proposal would seek to ensure that the cheapest tobacco on sale in the retail sector yields a higher tax take per pack. This so called ‘minimum excise tax’ is in place in most EU states and is being proposed following an unexpected decline in tobacco tax revenue in 2013/14.

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Book Now for the Responsible Retailing Forum

ACS’ Responsible Retailing Forum will be taking place on 15thOctober 2014 from 9.30am – 15.30pm.

The Forum, taking place at Wesley Hotel, London, will tackle a variety of responsible retailing issues affecting the local shop worker on a daily basis.

These include developments in alcohol licensing, such as getting and maintaining alcohol licenses in cumulative impact zones, regulating in-store marketing and promotions, and changes to licensing regulations (such as personal licence reform).

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