Local Shop Investment Tempered by Rising Employment Costs

The latest ACS (Association of Convenience Stores) Investment Tracker shows that local shops have invested £600m in their businesses over the past twelve months, including a record £181m in the last quarter.  However, investment levels per store are down compared to the same period last year, and ACS is concerned that investment, particularly among smaller independent retailers, is being delayed as they come to terms with rising employment costs such as the National Living Wage and auto-enrolment pensions.

Key findings from the survey include:

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Ofgem Highlight Need for Further Microbusiness Engagement in Energy Market

Ofgem have published their annual report, “Micro and Small Business Engagement in Energy Markets”, examining how businesses across England, Wales and Scotland engage in the energy market.

The report found that satisfaction with the renegotiation or extension process is high, but that the 10% who say they are dissatisfied with the process highlight price increases, poor communication and renewing without the businesses knowledge.

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Assured Advice Training Scheme for Retailers

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) is encouraging retailers to take advantage of a new platform to allow them to train their staff on Assured Advice.

The platform, which has been developed by online learning company Bolt, will allow any ACS member to sign up to the Assured Advice scheme and benefit from both the assurance of the guides and industry leading training modules for staff members.

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Want to be part of the digital high street?

A new pilot scheme is being launched in Gloucestershire to help high street businesses to work together to build their digital presence and promote their stores to customers.  The pilot is linked to the government's Future High Streets Forum, of which ACS is a board member.

The pilot will initially focus on Gloucester, Cheltenham and Stroud, and will include;

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Book Your Place for the ACS / PRA Forecourt Seminar on July 6th

The ACS Forecourt Seminar, taking place on the 6th of July is an unmissable industry event, packed with exciting ideas and concepts for both existing forecourt retailers and convenience retailers looking to expand their store’s offering to include selling fuel.

This year’s event, held at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, will be split into three thought-provoking feature sessions looking at the challenges currently facing forecourt stores, examples of best practice from around the UK, and uncovering ideas for the future.

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New Guidance for Retailers on Psychoactive Substances Regulations

ACS has published new guidance ahead of the Psychoactive Substances Act coming into force on May 26th.

The primary purpose of the new legislation is to stop the sale of items that are commonly known as ‘legal highs’. However, the Act will also have implications for responsible retailers, which in many cases will sell potentially psychoactive substances such as butane and solvents entirely legitimately.

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