Latest Kantar Figures Show Continuing Growth of Discounters

The latest Kantar Worldpanel figures released this week have revealed that discounter Aldi is now Britain’s sixth largest supermarket, with 5.3% share of the overall grocery market.

Elsewhere in the market, Lidl and Waitrose also increased their sales and market share. Waitrose increased its sales by 2.9% compared to this time last year, continuing sales increases that started in March 2009. Lidl’s sales growth stands at 12.1% in the latest period, with the discounter now representing 3.7% of the grocery market.

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Business Rates Changes Come into Effect Today

From today, the new business rate multiplier will take effect. The multiplier has risen by 2% to 49.3p in England. This 2% increase is due to the cap on rates increases imposed by Government until 2016 – the rates increase would otherwise have been 2.3% in accordance with the September 2014 rate of RPI. Also from today, business rates will be fully devolved to Wales. This means that the revenue from business rates collected in Wales will remain there, and be redistributed amongst Welsh local authorities.

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Tobacco Smuggling Strategy Needs More Ambitious Targets

HMRC and The UK Border Force have released a new tobacco smuggling strategy this week; “Tackling illicit tobacco: From leaf to light”.  The new strategy highlights that revenue loss from illegal tobacco stands at £2.1 billion however the Government states its medium term ambition is to “hold the cigarettes illicit market share at or below 10%”.

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ACS Welcomes Age Restrictions on Nicotine Inhaling Products

The House of Lords have approved the draft Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015. This will mean that from the 1st October 2015, it will be illegal to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 in England and Wales.

The regulations will:

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ACS Calls for Positive Measures to Support the High Street

ACS has responded to the Royal Society for Public Health’s report on the high street, calling for positive measures to support innovation on the high street instead of regulatory interventions.

The report, “Health on the High Street” released today, focuses much of its attention on restricting the activity of fast food outlets, betting shops and payday lenders, but also calls for the following interventions which would have an impact on convenience stores:

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Final Specification of New £1 Coin Revealed

HM Treasury have unveiled the new design of the £1 coin which will be introduced in early 2017 in response to their 2014 ‘Specification of the £1 coin’ consultation.

The new coin will be 12 sided with rounded edges and corners, have two coloured metals in its composition and feature the Royal Mint’s anti-counterfeiting technology.

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ACS Announces Addition of Conviviality Retail to Membership

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has announced that convenience store chain Conviviality Retail have joined as members.

Conviviality Retail owns the UK’s largest franchised off-licence and convenience chain with over 600 franchisee-operated stores located throughout England, Wales and soon to be Scotland. Conviviality operates five fascias including Bargain Booze, Bargain Booze Select Convenience, BB’s Warehouse, Thoroughgoods, and Wine Rack. Conviviality recently welcomed former ACS Chairman Jonathan James into a long term franchise agreement.

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Local Shops Set Out Growth Agenda to Chancellor

In its submission to the Treasury ahead of the final Budget before the 2015 General Election, ACS has highlighted long term business rates reform, tackling the £1.3bn annual cost of duty fraud and minimising the negative impact of employment costs as the issues where local shops need to see immediate action to unlock more growth and jobs in the convenience store sector.

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Retailers Call for Fairer Business Rates System in Scotland

Convenience store retailers have called for changes to the business rates revaluation system in Scotland to make the system fairer as part of a submission to the Scottish Government.

In a joint submission by the Association of Convenience Stores and the Scottish Grocers Federation, the trade bodies have called for a valuation system that is transparent, up to date, and cost effective.

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