Book Now for Heart of the Community 2018!

Book your free place at ACS’ unmissable political event, the Heart of the Community Conference 2018, which will offer retailers key insights into how the latest political agenda could impact their businesses.   

The conference has moved to a new venue at the heart of Westminster, 1 Birdcage Walk, taking place on 16th October from 12-4pm. The conference will bring together retailers from across the country to address the policy issues that really matter for the sector, focusing on tackling retail crime, acting on the environment and the future of work in the sector.

Read More

UK Forecourt Sector Employs 95,000 People; Generates Over £4.1bn in Last Year

The 2018 Forecourt Report has revealed the essential role that the UK's 8,418 forecourts play in the lives of consumers, the improvements that forecourts are making in their businesses, and the challenges they face in the future.

The report details the investment that forecourt stores are making in improving their offering to customers through new technologies, more efficient refrigeration and a wider food offer, with over £11,000 invested per store on average.

Other key findings from the report include:

Read More

ACS Calls for Retention of Access to Cash for Consumers and Businesses

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has submitted evidence to the Access to Cash Review, which is seeking views on the cash access requirements for consumers and businesses over the next five to fifteen years.

In the submission, ACS calls for retention of the ATM network to meet the demand for cash as a form of payment. The majority of convenience stores trade in locations where they are one of a limited number of shops and services, often providing the only source of cash access for consumers.

Read More

Chief Executive's Blog: Thoughts From Party Conference Season

It feels like a bit of a fool’s errand trying to pick out from party conference season the hard policy news related to convenience stores.  Let’s not kid ourselves, these events aren’t about setting a detailed policy agenda, they are about big messages played to the base of activists and to the media, and ambitious politicians raising their profile with both of those audiences. This year’s agenda – in truth not unlike the past few years – has been so dominated by Britain’s exit from the European Union that the headlines aren’t really being made by retail issues.

Read More

ACS Reminds Retailers of Food Allergen Labelling Responsibilities

ACS is reminding retailers to ensure that they are providing all of the necessary information about allergens in the food that they sell after an inquest found that allergen labelling from sandwich chain Pret a Manger was inadequate. The inquest came after the death of a customer who had an allergic reaction to sesame from a product that was not labelled as containing any.

ACS Assured Advice on food safety and hygiene includes details on how to protect customers from allergic reactions to food. There are 14 allergens covered by the law, which are:

Read More

ACS Urges Chancellor to Help Businesses to Invest

The Association of Convenience Stores has called on the Chancellor to help retailers to invest in their shops without being punished by the rating system.

In its submission ahead of the Autumn Budget on 29 October, ACS sets out a number of reforms to make business rates fairer for local shops, help them to improve their offer to customers, and invest in technology to remain competitive in a challenging retail market. ACS’ recommendations include:

Read More

ACS Welcomes New RASG Proxy Purchasing Guidance

ACS (the Association of Convenience Store) has welcomed new guidance from the Retail Alcohol Standards Group (RASG) which aims to help retailers tackle the proxy purchasing of alcohol, which is where an adult purchases alcohol on behalf of a child.

Read More

Chief Executive’s Blog: What Does a Good Deposit Return Scheme Look Like?

You can’t ignore the debate on plastics and the environmental impact of the bottles and bags that are too often discarded into the countryside, waterways and oceans. One of my rules in working out how ACS should address policy challenges is to first step back and ask, “is this a real issue, are the people who are concerned about it justified in demanding action?” In this case, the answer to these questions is definitely “yes” (let me know if you disagree, but the evidence looks pretty compelling to me) so we should think about what local shops can do to help tackle this problem. Of course,

Read More

ACS: Licensing System Would Not Address Challenges of Youth Access to Tobacco

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to new report from Imperial College London, raising concerns about calls for a new tobacco licensing system.

The Imperial College report cites NHS figures which claim that the majority of child smokers said it was easy to buy cigarettes in shops. However, just 4% of 11-15 year olds in the sample had attempted to buy cigarettes in a shop in the last year, and of those, around two thirds were refused the sale of cigarettes at least once.

Read More